LONDON • Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho will give Radamel Falcao as much time as he needs to rediscover the predatory instincts that once made him the most feared football forward in the world.
The player has spent two years struggling with injury and form.
The Colombian arrived at Stamford Bridge this summer on the back of a disappointing season on loan at Manchester United and a year at Monaco that ended with a serious knee injury.
Mourinho is adamant that he has been delighted by what he has seen of the striker, most notably in an impressive cameo against Barcelona during the club's pre-season tour to the United States.
But he has urged caution, saying he does not want to put too much pressure on the former Atletico Madrid star too soon.
My only worry at the start is that he adapts and he is happy. We are happy with him.
JOSE MOURINHO on Chelsea new boy Radamel Falcao
Mourinho said: "The team play very well with a striker of his quality.
"He is not just a guy who can score a goal, he is always a threat and he is a guy who contributes a lot to the quality of the game.
"It's only been a week but I am very happy with this week.
"My only worry at the start is that he adapts and he is happy. We are happy with him.
"I was waiting for his determination to work, to be part of the team, to understand the way we play football and I am happy with that."
Falcao has been widely seen as an alternative to Diego Costa, Chelsea's first-choice striker who struggled with injury himself last season. But Mourinho has not ruled out following the blueprint laid down at Atletico and play the two together.
"We could use two strikers," the manager said.
"We did it against Barcelona with (Loic) Remy and Falcao.
"They did very well, not just to bring the team forward but also to bring in players from midfield. We are growing step by step and, yes, we can do it too."
Mourinho is still hopeful of adding at least two players to his squad before the new English Premier League season kicks off on Saturday.
He would not be drawn on his long-expected move for Baba Rahman, the Augsburg left- back. However, he admitted that he does wish to strengthen that position.
The fate of Chelsea's move for John Stones, the Everton player, is less clear.
Mourinho suggested that the club would not submit a third offer for the 21-year-old central defender after having two bids - worth up to £26 million (S$56 million) turned down in the past two weeks.
Everton remain adamant that they will not allow the England player to leave at any price.
THE TIMES, LONDON