Radamel Falcao
Falcao scored just his second United goal to earn Louis van Gaal's side a point Getty Images

Manchester United striker Radamel Falcao has been tipped to ignite attempts to win a permanent move to Old Trafford with a run of goals during the festive period, after marking his full return to the first team with the equaliser against 10-man Aston Villa.

Falcao cancelled out Christian Benteke's first-half strike by heading home from Ashley Young's cross, for just his second goal since clinching a season-long loan move from Monaco on deadline day of the summer transfer window.

The Colombia international's spell at United has been dogged by injury, forcing manager Louis van Gaal to delay making a decision over whether to sign the 28-year old on a long-term basis, but according to midfielder Michael Carrick the forward will come good in the coming weeks.

"He's scored so many goals over the years and you always feel that when he gets that chance he will score," Carrick told MUTV. "He's scored a terrific header again and I'm pleased for him."

"After being out for a bit that's him back and hopefully he can go on a bit of a streak for us and we, as a team, can return to winning ways and get on a roll again.

"Things are going okay, although we hoped for more [at Villa], but we didn't lose and hopefully we can carry that on over Christmas and be stronger for it when we come out on the other side in January."

Defender Jonny Evans, who himself has been in and out of the United first team this season, added: "He did very well and got his goal. It was a great cross from Youngy and a great header. He's got a predator instinct in the area. Look at his record over the years, he's scored lots of headers and one-touch finishes – he has great movement."

The former FC Porto and Atletico Madrid player has suffered from knee and calf problems this term to add to concerns over his fitness which comes after Falcao missed the World Cup with a cruciate knee ligament problem.

Van Gaal has hesitated making a judgement on Falcao's form so far at United, such has been the player's injury problems.

"He hasn't played so much," he said on Friday. "You cannot see too much of a player if he doesn't train so much. He has been injured a lot of time. First you have to be fit."