Would losing Chicharito be Ferguson’s biggest mistake?

Following reports that the Mexican may be on his way out of Old Trafford, and with more time spent on the bench than the field in recent months, what does the future hold for Chicharito?

As you would expect from a manager who has been in charge of a club for over 26 years, Sir Alex Ferguson has made a few mistakes.

He himself has claimed his biggest was selling Jaap Stam to Lazio in 2001 when the Dutch defender was at the peak of his powers.

In years to come, not giving Paul Pogba the game-time he craved while at Old Trafford may also be branded folly. Although speculation suggests the French midfielder would have left for Juventus regardless.

Ferguson made no secret of his desire to keep Pogba, although his agent was reportedly equally keen to seek pastures new – more for a bonus than a change of scenery.

But now the Manchester United manager is on the verge of making another choice that could ultimately be re-branded a misjudgement.

Following reports last week that United have entered the race to sign Radamel Falcao, the initial footballing hypothesis was that should the Colombian arrive, Wayne Rooney would quickly depart.

As with all rumours, alternative slants soon became headlines, the most recent being that any move for Falcao would see Javier Hernandez move in the opposite direction; a gesture not so much a sweetener as a swap between a world class striker and a soon-to-be one.

Much has to happen for all of the above to become fact. But either way the issue of Hernandez remains.

Should Falcao arrive, it would almost certainly be he and Robin van Persie occupying the first-choice striking positions.

Should the swap deal occur, United would be losing one of the most naturally-gifted marksmen in world football; a player who does little outside the box, yes…but someone who is deadly within it.

And should the Falcao link prove as fruitless as so many links before it, Ferguson must utilise the 24-year-old Mexican in such a way as to prevent him from losing patience.

In essence, the mistake may not be in letting him go, but in keeping him but only for cameos instead of starring roles.

At that point, any words from the manager such as those earlier this month – when he declared that Hernandez was going nowhere – may not be enough to prevent the striker from pushing for a move.

Rare are the players such as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who served the club with aplomb, became a legend, but could have played twice as much football at the highest level elsewhere yet chose not to.

While van Persie continues to struggle for form this season, Hernandez will wonder what he has to do to get a run of games.

For now he seems happy where he is. But with Falcao or without him, in seasons to come Ferguson will have to keep the Mexican as happy as everyone else. Because otherwise, that smile on his face may not last for ever.

Will Hernandez remain at Old Trafford and become a club legend?  Or will he ultimately leave for the regular football his talent deserves?

image: © eschipul

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