Van Gaal: Falcao & Van Persie can play together

The Colombia international joined the club on a season-long loan on transfer deadline day and the Dutchman insists the two forwards will complement each other at Old Trafford


Louis van Gaal insists that Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie can play together at Manchester United.

Falcao joined the club in a deadline-day season-long loan deal, leading to speculation that Van Persie could be usurped by the Colombia international at Old Trafford.

However, Van Gaal believes the pair can complement each other, and foresees no problems with the potential partnership.

“I don’t think that Falcao interferes with Van Persie or that he interferes with Falcao,” he told reporters. “Falcao is a very good striker, I already said that when he came here in his first press conference.

“I like Van Persie as well – he is also a very good striker,” the boss continued. “Then we have Wayne Rooney and Adnan Januzaj, and we also have James Wilson. We have five players for the two striker positions and I have to choose.”

Januzaj hit a hat-trick for United’s Under-21 side against Sunderland in midweek and Van Gaal has been impressed with the Belgium international, though he insists he must knuckle down in order to earn a spot in the starting XI.

“He has to compete with very good players and that is the reason,” he added. “You cannot put 15 players in the squad, only 11, and with this system he has to compete with a lot of very strong strikers.

“When we play 4-3-3, for example, then he should have maybe more chances. It is always dependable on the system that we play. When I have changed my system, he has played.”

Van Gaal also revealed that Chris Smalling is set to return for United, while Luke Shaw made his United comeback against Sunderland.

Falcao thanks Manchester United fans after 'fantastic' debut

The Colombia international was given a warm reception when he replaced Juan Mata on 67 minutes as the Red Devils swept QPR aside at Old Trafford on Sunday

Radamel Falcao has thanked Manchester United fans for their support and admits it was “fantastic” to make his debut in Sunday’s 4-0 win over QPR at Old Trafford.

Falcao, who joined United on a lucrative season-long loan deal on transfer deadline day, came on to a rapturous welcome on 67 minutes as goals from Angel Di Maria, Ander Herrera, Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata gave Louis van Gaal his first Premier League victory.

The Colombian superstar insists he enjoyed the moment despite failing to find the net himself, and hopes United will continue in the same winning vein after an underwhelming start to the season. 

“I am very happy for this victory and the support was great,” he told the club’s official website. “I want to continue that way. I want to say thank you to the fans and I enjoyed that a lot, this match. It was fantastic. I almost scored. The goalkeeper was good. I hope to score the next game.

“It felt good to make my debut here at Old Trafford and I am happy to get the win. I am enjoying this moment. It is an extraordinary stadium, a legendary stadium. Bit by bit, we will gel together as a team and the new players will feel more comfortable. I hope everything continues for us like it has.

TEAM NEWS: Falcao on the bench for Manchester United, Rojo & Blind start

The Colombia striker joined on the final day of the transfer window but takes a place on the bench while fellow new signings Blind and Rojo start


Manchester United’s deadline day signing Radamel Falcao will have to wait a bit longer for his debut after only being selected on the bench by Louis van Gaal for Sunday’s clash with QPR.

The Colombia international, also joined on the bench by fellow debutant-in-waiting Luke Shaw, has been omitted in favour of a strike partnership of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie.

Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind, both recruited this summer, are flung straight into the starting XI and will make their Red Devils debuts against Harry Redknapp’s side.

Blind is likely to line up as a left wing-back, with Rojo joining Jonny Evans and Tyler Blackett in a back three while Rafael returns on the right-hand side.

Ander Herrera returns for his first appearance since the opening day defeat to Swansea City, with Darren Fletcher dropping to the bench.

There is a familiar face in the QPR team, meanwhile, as Rio Ferdinand returns to a ground where he spent 12 successful seasons. The veteran centre-back partners Steven Caulker as Redknapp returns to a back four.

Deadline day signings Sandro and Niko Kranjcar both start for the Rs, with Eduardo Vargas among the substitutes following the resolution of work permit issues.

Manchester United: De Gea; Evans, Rojo, Blackett; Rafael, Herrera, Mata, Di Maria, Blind; Rooney, Van Persie.
Subs: Lindegaard, Shaw, Fletcher, Januzaj, Valencia, A Pereira, Falcao.

QPR: Green; Isla, Ferdinand, Caulker, Hill; Kranjcar, Sandro, Fer; Phillips, Austin, Hoilett.
Subs: McCarthy, Traore, Onuoha, Henry, Vargas, Zamora, Taarabt.

Manchester United’s summer spree can win the title, says Rooney

The England captain insists his team-mates are confident of a Premier League challenge and has praised the acquisition of Radamel Falcao

Wayne Rooney believes Manchester United’s €186 million summer spending spree could secure the Premier League title this season.

United completed moves for Radamel Falcao, Angel Di Maria, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind, Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw during the transfer window but are already 10 points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea.

Rooney, however, who insists the club have always had the potential to spend big on ‘top players’, feels Louis van Gaal’s new-look squad are capable of challenging for the title.

“We always could [sign top players] but it was a case of who the manager at the time wanted to bring in. Obviously last season, we know we were not good enough,” Rooney told reporters.

“But the time is now right to get these top players to get us back to where we belong – back to winning titles.

“It’s exciting times, it’s interesting times for United. We’ve not got off to the best start but we are confident.”

Falcao, along with Blind and Rojo, is set to make his Premier League debut against QPR on Sunday after join on a season-long loan from Monaco, and Rooney is buoyed by the arrival of the Colombia international.

“He’s a world-class player,” said the recently-named England captain. “It’s a great statement of intent from the club and I am looking forward to working with him.

“I’ve seen him play throughout the years and he’s a fantastic player. It’s exciting, and also for the Premier League as well, for him to come over.

“He could have gone to a number of other clubs but it’s great he’s come over and we’ve got him.

“It’s down to the manager how he chooses to play. He’s got myself, Falcao, [Robin] Van Persie, Di Maria, and [Juan] Mata. So it’s a great selection of players for him to pick from.”

Manchester United – QPR Preview: Van Gaal set to unleash Falcao & Di Maria

The Red Devils boss has backed his expensive new recruits to shine on their home debuts as he hopes to further implement his methods at Old Trafford

Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao could make their Old Trafford debuts as a new-look Manchester United side take on QPR on Sunday.

United have banked on Argentina winger Di Maria – signed for a British transfer record of £59.7 million – to inspire a fresh era of success in Manchester.

Much is also expected of striker Falcao, who has joined on a season-long loan from Monaco, capping the end of a lavish spending spree that saw United part with more than £150m in the transfer window.

Ander Herrera, Luke Shaw, Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo have been brought in together with Di Maria and Falcao, prompting debate over how manager Louis van Gaal can best utilise the players at his disposal.

However, Van Gaal is confident the new arrivals will help United recover from a poor start to the campaign.

“We bought five players and one player is on loan here and maybe we can buy him next season, and that’s Falcao,” said the Dutchman.

“We let go [of] 14 players. How to fit in these players is not so difficult, I think, when you let go 14 players and only six players come in.

“They have to perform our philosophy [against QPR] and that philosophy is not so easy to perform. We have seen it already.

“But I think the players we have selected [in the transfer window] shall do that better.”

United are yet to win this season, with two Premier League draws and a loss to Swansea City having been registered together with a shock 4-0 League Cup loss at MK Dons.

The defeat to Swansea came at Old Trafford and Van Gaal, who is without Phil Jones (hamstring), Marouane Felliani (ankle), Chris Smalling (groin), Michael Carrick (ankle) and Ashley Young (knock) – will be desperate to avoid a repeat.

Van Gaal has faced criticism from certain quarters for letting Danny Welbeck join Arsenal for £16m on transfer deadline day.

Welbeck – a product of the club’s famed academy – scored both goals in England’s 2-0 win in Switzerland on Monday but Van Gaal claimed he sold the striker because he was not prolific enough.

United will certainly expect goals to flow for the remainder of the campaign, with Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and now Falcao available.

QPR sit two places higher than United in the table after a 1-0 win over Sunderland last time out lifted them to 12th.

The Loftus Road outfit are clear underdogs this weekend but boss Harry Redknapp has urged his side to take the game to United.

“Manchester United [have] got a formidable front-line. It will be interesting to see how they gel,” Redknapp said.

“They’ve got a top, top team now. We’ve got to go up there and make sure we work hard and give them a really good game. We will be ready for it.”

Joey Barton could miss out with a hamstring problem but QPR – who are set to start ex-United defender Rio Ferdinand – could hand debuts to new signings Eduardo Vargas and Sandro.

Get Adobe Flash player