Would Hernandez be crazy to leave Man United?

Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez is heavily linked with interest from Juventus in today’s back pages.

Hernandez has been in sublime form this season and has shown grace and character at having made a large portion of his appearances from United’s bench. He is effectively manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s third choice frontman behind Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney.

The Mexican has made 28 appearances this season for United – 10 from the bench where earlier on this term he was hailed as the ‘super-sub’ drawing comparisons to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

His attitude is fantastic – when he does get his opportunities to impress, he takes them. He’s scored 16 goals and made 7 assists for the Red Devils so far.

However, at the age of 24, I wonder whether Chicharito might prefer to play game in game out somewhere else? No player in their right mind would leave a club like Manchester United for any other reason that to get more regular first team football.

Robin van Persie is only 29 and he’s unlikely to hang up his boots in the next five years, Wayne Rooney is just 27 and has now tended to be deployed by Ferguson in an attacking midfield role just behind the frontman.

Meanwhile Danny Welbeck has made some superb performances this term for both United and England and at 22, he’s certainly not going to go away any time soon.

I don’t doubt that Hernandez is happy at Old Trafford – he certainly seems to enjoy his football when he plays but I’m sure he’s thought about it from time to time on the bench. It must have occurred to him that he could be the star of the show at virtually any other club.

The other problem is that, at 24, he’s still developing and without thirty to forty games a season he won’t gain the necessary experience at the highest level, nor the form and fitness to really push on to become a world-class centre-forward which, given time and games, he definitely has the potential to be.

Juventus are the reigning champions of Italy’s Serie A – they compete in the Champions League and domestic cups. Whilst Manchester United are undoubtedly the most popular football club in the world and one of the most successful, there are other big glamorous clubs that could provide him with the same opportunities as United.

But more importantly, they can provide him the opportunity to play regular first-team football.

images: © Audrey Pilato, © eschipul

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch