United forward Javier Hernandez has ‘hinted’ this week he may have to leave to find regular football.
The Mexican is currently away on international duty but told reporters this week he is hoping for more regular games at the English champions under new boss David Moyes.
The 25-year-old, also known as Chicharito, has started just one Premier League game for United so far this term and that was due to a groin injury suffered by former Arsenal frontman Robin van Persie.
Since the Dutchman’s arrival at Old Trafford last summer, Hernandez has seen his access to starts in the team diminish even prior to the retirement Sir Alex Ferguson at the end of last season.
I recently covered BBC pundit Robbie Savage’s comments that Chicharito is ‘wasted’ at Manchester United because of the abundance of talent, senior stars and up-and-coming youngsters, they have in their ranks to choose from.
Since Van Persie’s arrival, Hernandez saw a 21.5% reduction in his league appearances for the Red Devils and a 50% reduction in his league starts. Prior to the Dutchman’s arrival from Arsenal, Chicharito was flying high and developing well, linking up with Wayne Rooney and finding his confidence.
He scored 20 goals in his first season with United (2010/11) and 12 the following term and, even despite Van Persie and Rooney’s preferential treatment last term, he still managed to contribute 18 goals in all competitions.
Meanwhile, Arsenal are currently in the market for a striker – they had been linked all summer with the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Luis Suarez and Demba Ba but none of those targets were brought in and now they rely on only Olivier Giroud (effectively brought in the previous summer as Van Persie’s replacement) as their only recognised centre-forward.
Giroud has been in fine form which has taken the pressure off Arsene Wenger somewhat and the signing of Mesut Ozil on deadline day has lifted the club greatly but, with Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott and youngster Yaya Sanogo sidelined with injury, they are one little niggle away from a striker crisis.
Come January, perhaps the Gunners might be inclined to turn the tables on the English champions and lure one of their strikers to the Emirates? Hernandez would likely find much more opportunity at Arsenal and, at present, they are top of the league. He’s 25-years-old; he cannot afford to spend the best years of his career on the bench at Manchester United.
image: © eschipul