Premier League - Rooney: Falcao capture a 'statement of intent' from Man Utd

Wayne Rooney has spoken of his delight at Manchester United's capture of Radamel Falcao on transfer deadline day.

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Premier League - Rooney: Falcao capture a 'statement of intent' from Man Utd
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Wayne Rooney and Falcao (PA Sport)

The Colombian striker will be seen as a threat to Rooney's place by many, including Eurosport blogger and former United star Paul Parker, but Rooney insists the move shows United mean business as they look to recover from a disastrous 2013-14 season and poor start to this campaign.

"It's a fantastic signing," said Rooney as he held his first press conference as permanent England captain. "He is one of the best strikers in the world so it’s a real statement of intent from the club.”

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The prolific Colombian striker, one of the stars of the world game, joined United in a shock season-long deal from Monaco on deadline day. His arrival capped an extraordinary summer for United as they brought in the vastly experienced Louis van Gaal as manager and spent more than £150 million on players.

Falcao, who was heavily linked with Real Madrid last week, is now looking forward to immersing himself in Dutch boss Van Gaal's philosophy.

The 28-year-old, whose £6m loan could be made permanent next summer, told MUTV: "I am very excited for that. Van Gaal is a very good trainer with a lot of experience. I want to do the best for the team, for him and for the supporters."

OUR VIEW

While neutral observers might see Falcao as a threat to Rooney, the player's comments can be taken as genuine. Rooney is a man of enormous self-belief who probably won't think for a moment that his place is under threat at the club, especially as he has also been made captain of United by Van Gaal.

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He is probably right too. People like to debate a club's 'strongest XI' but it is very rare that a modern club gets to play such an outfit on a regular basis. Rooney remains key to Manchester Unted's future, at least in the short to mid-term. United need more quality at the club, and Falcao certainly provides that, even if it is not in the position that needs the most surgery.

Rooney's form has been average for a long time now, and he needs to kick on, but injury-prone Robin van Persie and the talented, but positionally inflexible, Juan Mata are probably sweating about their futures at the club more than the seemingly bullet-proof Rooney.

PAUL PARKER'S VIEW

Wayne Rooney has been awful. There he was at Burnley this weekend, supposedly captaining the team - but I saw a player interested only in himself, doing nothing to try and lift his game or inspire his team-mates. The only thing in any way remarkable about his performance is that he collects £300,000 a week to play that badly.

Once Van Perise is fully-fit again, Rooney must be the person to be dropped from United's new attacking line-up: for me, it'll be RVP and Falcao every time. And though there's lots of talk about him playing in the hole behind that front two, I think that'd be a huge mistake - why would you have Rooney there when Juan Mata or Angel Di Maria would do the job so much better?

That'll leave Van Gaal with a big call to make: dropping Wayne Rooney. He's always shown in his career that he's not afraid of the big decisions; he showed it most recently with his goalkeeper substitution for the shoot-out at the World Cup, and he'll have to show it once again because the way things are looking there will be no place for Rooney in that starting line-up soon.

[READ PAUL PARKER'S LATEST BLOG IN FULL]

[TOM ADAMS: Falcao, the illogical transfer that makes perfect sense]

OVERREACTION THEATRE: Falcao 'a burning hat for a man with no trousers']

WHERE WILL FALCAO PLAY?

Internet pranksters have already been taking potshots at Manchester United over the apparently unbalanced team that is resulting from Louis van Gaal's summer purchases - as well as his decisions on who to keep. And one of those, from Twitter user Tosh, suggests a hilarious new 'question mark' formation for the Red Devils to squeeze in their talent:

In all seriousness, it's hard to imagine where all the players will fit in. Assuming that Angel Di Maria will remain out wide, then the newly-arriving Daley Blind will probably fit into a more central role than he is accustomed to.

Then there is the question of Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata. Will Van Gaal try to retain Wayne Rooney in the side, or play Juan Mata in the hole behind the two strikers? Early indications are that Van Gaal is not impressed by Mata - so once Robin van Persie is fit, the Dutchman will start up front alongside Falcao (a potentially devastating pairing of penalty box finishers) with the brutal strength of Rooney deployed in the hole behind. After all, Van Gaal made it clear during the World Cup, when speaking about Van Persie, that his team's captains will always start when fit.

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Manchester United - possible formation for 2014/15

A left-sided axis of Di Maria, Blind and Rojo looks strong - but United have also spent a huge amount on Luke Shaw this summer. Given the current look of the squad at the moment, he - like Mata - could be a high-profile, big-money signing from the last year who is left on the bench.

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