12 Sep 2014

Man U's Falcao faces the media

12:50 pm on 12 September 2014
The Colombian striker Radamel Falcao playing for Atletico Madrid.

The Colombian striker Radamel Falcao playing for Atletico Madrid. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

A composed and measured Radamel Falcao has made his media bow at Manchester United, showing few signs of the weight of goal-scoring expectation on his shoulders.

United, who have managed only two points in three league games under new coach Louis van Gaal so far this season, paraded Falcao and fellow new signing Daley Blind to the press and cameras before their expected debuts against Queens Park Rangers this weekend.

The club signed the Colombian striker, who has spent most of the year out injured, on loan from Monaco just before the transfer window closed last week, in a deal that some commentators said smacked of desperation.

But Falcao, 28, speaking in careful English, said all the right things.

The Colombian, who joins Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney in United's attacking line-up, says he feels good, he has had a great welcome and any settling in period is easy when the quality of players is so good.

Falcao's anterior cruciate ligament injury kept him out of the World Cup. He played some pre-season friendlies with Monaco and some 15 minutes of Colombia's defeat by Brazil last Friday.

Van Gaal, appointed after United finished in an unaccustomed seventh last season under David Moyes, has been criticised for splashing out $300 million on new players.

Meanwhile Assistant manager Ryan Giggs has moved to reassure Manchester United football fans that the club's commitment to youth development remains intact.

Barclays Premier League - Burnley v Manchester United - Man Utd manager Louis van Gaal (R) and assistant Ryan Giggs. 2014.

Barclays Premier League - Burnley v Manchester United - Man Utd manager Louis van Gaal (R) and assistant Ryan Giggs. 2014. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

New United manager Louis van Gaal's recent spending-spree of more than $NZ 300 million in the transfer window, culminating in the British record capture of Angel di Maria for $NZ 120 million, was followed by the sale of Academy graduate Danny Welbeck, the England forward, to Arsenal.

The move suggesting a change of priorities at Old Trafford.

United have fielded at least one homegrown player in every matchday squad since 1937 but that record may be threatened under Dutch boss van Gaal.

Giggs is one of the greatest players ever to emerge from a United youth system and did so under Alex Ferguson, the boss who oversaw the celebrated Wales star's career in the 1980s and 1990s.

Giggs says the commitment to homegrown talent was woven into the fabric of Old Trafford.

"The club will never change."

"The history of the club is to play exciting football, always give youngsters a chance, keep to the traditions of the club."

"Okay Danny has left, which is obviously disappointing because you never want to see a homegrown player leave, but this is a manager (van Gaal) who gave (Clarence) Seedorf his chance, (Patrick) Kluivert his chance, (Andres) Iniesta his chance, Xavi, Thomas Muller - he has got a track record of giving youngsters a chance.

"Tyler Blackett has played every game this season."

"Underneath (Robin) Van Persie and (Wayne) Rooney you have got (Adnan) Januzaj, James Wilson."

"Players will leave but we have got to make sure young players come through because United fans demand it."

"I want to see young players come through."

"That has been (the case) right through the history of Manchester United and we never want to lose that."