Andrew Cole expects Radamel Falcao to return to his prolific best next year - whether that be at Manchester United or elsewhere.
United thought they had pulled off one of the biggest coups of the summer transfer window last year when they beat stiff competition to sign Falcao from Monaco on a season-long loan, with the option of a £43.2million permanent deal at the end of it.
Falcao was regarded as one of the best strikers in the world when he joined United.
The 29-year-old is Colombia's highest-scorer of all time. He scored 70 goals during two seasons at Atletico Madrid and two more over the same length of time at Porto, but this season he has found the net on four occasions in 28 appearances for United.
Cole thinks Falcao's poor season should be regarded as an anomaly that is down to his injury struggles, rather than a sign that his best years are behind him.
"I look at Falcao and I still think he is a quality player," the former striker told Press Association Sport at an event to promote the United Legends v Bayern Munich AllStars game, which takes place next month at Old Trafford.
"If you look at his movement and what he has done for his national team, you know he scores goals.
"His record before coming here was phenomenal, absolutely ridiculous.
"I know he has had an indifferent time since coming to Manchester United and everyone is saying he can't score goals any more, but no - it isn't like that.
"He has not got as many as he would have liked when he came to Manchester United. But that doesn't mean he is a bad player. He is far from a bad player."
It seems unlikely that United will pay such a huge sum to acquire a player who has performed so poorly this season.
They have already snapped up another prolific scorer in PSV Eindhoven forward Memphis Depay, who will get a taste of English life on Wednesday when he takes part in a promotional appearance in London.
The 21-year-old Dutch forward, who has scored 22 league goals this term, is expected to have his medical some time after PSV's final league game of the season on Sunday before completing his £25million move to Old Trafford.
Cole, who scored 121 goals for United, says any decision to allow Falcao to leave could backfire.
"I don't know whether United will keep him. The powers that be are considering it," Cole said.
"If he doesn't stay here next year and he goes somewhere else, he will score goals.
"You don't stop scoring goals because you have an injury or whatever.
"It might take a little bit longer to recover from the injury but once you get injured it doesn't mean you stop.
"He will score goals wherever. If he doesn't stay here he will definitely do that."
Falcao has only started 13 Barclays Premier League matches this year.
According to his mother Carmenza Zarate, the striker has reluctantly accepted his situation under Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford.
"Although it's hard not to be a starter, he has to accept the coach's decision," she told Colombian newspaper El Espectador.
"We have to respect Van Gaal as a coach and his methods.
"I don't think what he is doing to Falcao is anything personal because the same is happening to Angel di Maria and Robin van Persie.
"It's his way of working and you have to respect that."
:: Andrew Cole is one of a number of former stars taking part in the Manchester United Legends v Bayern Munich AllStars match on June 14 at Old Trafford. Tickets on sale now from www.manutd.com/legendsareback
Adnan Januzaj improved his chances of a first-team recall on Tuesday night when he starred in United's Under-21 victory over local rivals Manchester City.
The Belgian has not started a first-team game since February 11 but he put on a show-stopping display for the second string at Old Trafford in the 4-0 win, which came in front of 16,708 people.
Januzaj set up James Wilson with an incisive 40-yard pass for United's opener.
The 20-year-old then doubled United's lead, firing a curling shot past Angus Dunn after beating two City players in the box.
The Belgian received a standing ovation when he was substituted in the 73rd minute. He walked straight down the tunnel, but there was no sign he was suffering from an injury.
Ashley Fletcher and Matthew Willock rounded off the win for Warren Joyce's men late on.