Radamel Falcao Deal Final Twist of Crazy Transfer Window for Manchester United

Rob DawsonManchester United CorrespondentSeptember 1, 2014

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02:  Falcao of Monaco in action during the Emirates Cup match between Valencia and AS Monaco at the Emirates Stadium on August 2, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward sat in a Los Angeles hotel during the summer and told a gathered group of journalists that the club wasn't afraid of "spending significant amounts of money in the transfer market."

His comments prompted a predictable response from United fans: "We'll believe it when we see it."

Well, this summer, they've seen it.

The deadline-day deal for Radamel Falcao, as reported by the Manchester Evening News, surprised everyone. However, it was a transfer in keeping with the rest of their business this summer.

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - NOVEMBER 19:  Falcao Garcia of Colombia runs with the ball during the International Friendly match between Netherlands and Colombia at Amsterdam ArenA on November 19, 2013 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Ima
Lars Baron/Getty Images

They were expected to sign world-class players to fill the voids in the centre of midfield and defence.

They've signed two of the best players in the world. But one is a striker and the other, Angel Di Maria, is a winger. While they're wonderful players, they're not quite what was needed.

Manager Louis van Gaal has signed a defender, Marcos Rojo, and midfielder Ander Herrera. According to the Manchester Evening News' Paul Handler, United also landed former Ajax midfielder Daley Blind. With that said, the fans wanted players like Mats Hummels and Arturo Vidal.

The big money has been spent to boost their attack, which already included Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata.

The high-end midfielder still hasn't arrived, though. Neither has the replacement for Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - AUGUST 30:  Angel Di Maria of Manchester United shows his emotions during the Barclays Premier League match between Burnley and Manchester United at Turf Moor on August 30, 2014 in Burnley, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Imag
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

There is a sense that United and Van Gaal have given the car a lick of paint—albeit a very expensive and highly desirable lick of paint—when it needs a new engine.

Falcao's arrival also creates a series of selection issues for Van Gaal. Whether he sticks with 3-5-2 or goes back to 4-3-3, it's difficult to see how he can fit Rooney, Van Persie, Mata, Di Maria and Falcao in the same team.

With only one game a week for at least the next four months, someone is going to be disappointed.

Van Gaal will argue that he set out to improve United's squad this summer, and there's little doubt he has done that.

But he suggested in the summer that David Moyes had left him an unbalanced group. Even after six signings, that still seems to be the case.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - AUGUST 30:  Manager Louis van Gaal of Manchester United looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Burnley and Manchester United at Turf Moor on August 30, 2014 in Burnley, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Meanwhile, the Manchester Evening News reports Javier Hernandez has been allowed to leave for Real Madrid and Danny Welbeck has moved to Arsenal.

The England striker still splits opinion among United fans. However, it seems a strange decision to give him the opportunity to score the goals that could potentially deny United a place in the top four.

United and Woodward have delivered a transfer window no one expected. It's brought exciting signings as well as unexpected departures.

The challenge now is for Van Gaal to make a team out of the wonderful individual talents in his squadand show there has been method in United's transfer window madness all along.