#360debate: Will Radamel Falcao be a good signing for Chelsea?

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Wanted man: Falcao.

Over recent days and weeks, speculation has continued to grow stronger that Colombia striker Radamel Falcao will return to the Premier League on loan next season—this time heading in the direction of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea.

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With Mourinho and Falcao both managed by Portuguese super-agent Jorge Mendes, the connections which could see the deal take place are clear.

However, doubts remain over the striker’s ability to make an impact for the Blues after 

Our #360debate today is: Will Falcao be a good signing for Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea?

Alex Rea, Sub Editor, thinks YES.

Thibaut Courtois saw it. The Chelsea supporters saw it through their fingers. Diego Costa was on the substitutes bench and he saw it too. It was the night Radamel Falcao announced himself as one of the most lethal strikers in world football and everybody saw it.

They saw Colombia’s record goalscorer tear the Champions League holders apart and while the stage may have been just the Super Cup, it was quite a performance regardless.

Perhaps Jose Mourinho saw what he did that night too because even despite his torrid time at Manchester United last season, it would be enough to convince the ‘Special One’ that Falcao still has plenty still to offer. And it’s the Mourinho-factor that could spark Falcao back into life.

A move for the former Atletico Madrid hitman makes perfect sense. Class is permanent, remember, form is just temporary. One bad season turned him from a hunter to the hunted but in many ways it was never going to work at Old Trafford.

In Louis van Gaal’s first season in charge the Dutchman opted for the safer options of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie upfront.

Falcao, though, deserves to be the focal point of any team and at United became nothing more than a bit-part player.

Some will argue he’ll be consigned to that role at Chelsea but with question marks lingering over Costa’s hamstring – the Spain international missed 21 games last term – the opportunities will be in generous supply.

The calibre of players around him will be improved too, and not just that, a settled team as well. It’s fair to say Falcao did not get the type of service he’s become accustomed to but the Premier League champions have assist-king Cesc Fabregas in their ranks.

United opted to chop and change in key positions and this constant flux won’t have helped the former Porto striker.

If that’s not enough to convince you, then Courtois was there the night Falcao smashed a sublime hat-trick past Chelsea in 2012. He said recently: “It’s the decision of the club but he would be a very good player for Chelsea.”

Maybe the Premier League will see that too.

James Piercy, Deputy Editor, thinks NO.

Chelsea will likely have to pay a loan fee for Falcao and certainly must make a significant contribution to cover his wages at Monaco.

Assuming he stays for the duration of the season, the Blues will be looking at £10-15m for the Colombian (Dh57m-Dh85m). He most certainly, at the age of 29, will not be a bargain buy.

Manchester United spent around £16m for the rather expensive return of four league goals; that’s £4m per goal. Or to emphasise the point, £432,432 (Dh2.5m) per shot on target (37).

What else do Chelsea have to lose? Well, for a start, Falcao will be taking the place of another player on the bench or in the starting XI.

Louis van Gaal persevered with him for 1,287 minutes in the Premier League; he went from a starter to the next best option after Robin van Persie suffered with injuries, yet at no stage did he justify either billing, wasting opportunities for others around him.

Van Gaal did handle the Falcao situation as best as he could but the awareness, the determination, the instinct to make those darting runs was non-existent, and his legendary finishing suffered, often with uncomfortable results.

We can even look at his pre-injury form at Monaco as further example of his diminishing returns; nine goals in 17 games is a reasonable ratio but should have been better for a player of his ability in Ligue 1.

It’s telling Monaco, who must qualify for the Champions League group stages, are happy to let him go without much consideration.

Even if the cost is concerning, wouldn’t keeping him increase their chances of qualifying, therefore helping alleviate that financial burden? They know it’s not worth it.

Mourinho – who has a near-obssession with working with older players – will back himself to get the best out of Falcao, but this looks a needless risk for a club who can afford to take their time this summer.

Chelsea do need a striker to act as back-up alongside Loic Remy to Diego Costa, but surely that money, which isn’t exactly loose change, can be better invested on a younger, healthier, hungrier player? A policy which has guided their work in the transfer market so well over the last five years. 

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Dubai Hammers Supporters Club react to Slaven Bilic appointment

Tony Sutton 11/06/2015
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Bilic was a fan favourite as a player at West Ham.

Tony Sutton​, of the Dubai Hammers’ Supporters C​lub,​ examines the appointment of cult hero Slaven Bilic as new West Ham boss.

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After weeks of speculation, West Ham have finally announced that Slaven Bilic is to be the club’s 15th manager in history. The announcement came as no real surprise with the former Hammer always looking like the obvious choice for West Ham to after Real Madrid took their chief target, Rafa Benitez.

Bilic achieved cult hero status in his brief spell with West Ham as a no-nonsense central defender who gave his all alongside the likes of Julian Dicks. Setting up the winning goal on his debut in a 1-0 away win at Tottenham and was runner up in the club’s Player of the Year vote in his first full season. Huge disappointment followed when Bilic moved to Premier League rivals Everton after just 15 months having avoided relegation at Upton Park.

Despite the fact that Bilic is a former player, there is still an element of risk element attached to this appointment. With West Ham set to move to their shiny new Olympic stadium in a year, media pressure will intensify if the Hammers do not start the season well. Bilic has no Premier League experience as a manager and despite some impressive work in charge of both Besiktas and Croatia, the risk of this turning into an absolute disaster will be on the minds of all who feel the club should have stuck with the safe option of Sam Allardyce for another season.

Bilic will be take comfort from the fact he is taking over one of the strongest West Ham squads in recent memory and he has been promised further funds to improve his team on the back of three consecutive mid-table finishes. Sampdoria midfielder Pedro Obiang has already signed and the owners have promised as many as five more additions before the season starts.

One thing is for certain that, bar any major disasters, Bilic can expect the full backing of the fans and if he can secure another mid-table finish and guide the team to the Europa League group stages there will be some very happy people in the East End of London.

Bilic understands the passion of the West Ham faithful and in his first interview as manager he described the club as more of a “cult”, saying there is “something special” about it. It’s exactly this type of sentiment that the Hammers fans need to hear and Bilic can be sure of a very warm welcome back to the Boleyn Ground if he continues that particular charm offensive.

With the potential of Europa League football, the addition of a few new face and a manager backed by supporters, this season has all the makings of a perfect send off for Upton Park.

Interesting Facts…

  • West Ham have only been relegated five times in their history, less than both Chelsea and Manchester City.
  • Bilic is only the 15th manager to take charge of West Ham.

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VIDEO: Nacho Monreal visits Dubai’s Arsenal Soccer School

Scott 3/06/2015
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Nacho Monreal has confirmed that he wants to stay at Arsenal despite rumours of interest coming from La Liga sides. He was in the UAE visiting Arsenal Soccer Schools at the Sevens Stadium, Dubai.









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