Radamel Falcao's loan from Monaco to Manchester United has been underwhelming on a number of levels, but it hit a new low on Tuesday.
Falcao, the Colombia national team star, was in the starting lineup for the Manchester United U-21 team against Tottenham, a day after being an unused substitute in the Red Devils' 2-1 loss to Arsenal in the FA Cup quarterfinals. According to Manchester United's official website, the temporary demotion is "a bid to get some minutes under his belt."
Falcao has just four goals in 20 appearances across all competitions since joining the club from Monaco ahead of the summer transfer deadline, struggling to win the consistent favor of manager Louis van Gaal.
Falcao was joined by, among others, former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes in the Manchester United U-21 lineup, with Valdes unable to supplant steady countryman David de Gea as first-choice goalkeeper since joining the club in January.
From an American perspective, Falcao's demotion was a bonus: 17-year-old U.S.-eligible center back Cameron Carter-Vickers, who has drawn rave reviews from U.S. U-20 coach Tab Ramos, got the opportunity to defend the 29-year-old forward on the Old Trafford stage.