Hernandez? United should have loaned out key forward instead

Manchester United 3

Manchester United may have been better off loaning Robin van Persie out instead of Javier Hernandez, given the Dutchman's recent form.

Much has been made of Manchester United star-studded front-line after their signings this summer. 

The addition of Radamel Falcao to their ranks meant that they had one of the most intimidating attacking units in the world, but so far it has not clicked into gear.

Louis van Gaal's initial plan appeared to be to play Wayne Rooney in a more withdrawn role behind Falcao and Robin van Persie, but that particular strategy already seems to have been dropped.

United have played with just one up front more recently, with Van Gaal opting to choose Van Persie to lead the line.

This has largely been an enforced changed - with Rooney suspended and Falcao injured - but switching back to a system which involves two forwards may be something which Van Gaal decides against.

As it stands, it seems that he is entrusting Van Persie to take upon the mantle of leading the line, but if his form continues as it is then he is unlikely to hold down the starting berth for long.

The Dutchman has just three Premier League goals to his name this season and, given the creative individuals that he has playing behind him, that simply isn't good enough.

Van Persie, normally such a clinical finisher, has not looked mobile enough to manoeuvre himself into scoring positions regularly enough and signs of age are starting to show. The former Arsenal man is now 31 and time may have caught up with him.

He is coming under pressure to raise his game and with the competition for places that United have a serious up-turn in performance levels will need to be achieved for him to stay in the side.

If he is dropped, there must be a question over whether Van Gaal would have been better off keeping Javier Hernandez.

It was widely accepted that the Mexican was loaned out to make room for Falcao in the squad, but his impact off the substitutes' bench would arguably be greater than Van Persie's.

Hernandez's pace and finishing prowess caused problems for defences and he turned into something of a super-sub for the side under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Although his form was nowhere near that standard more recently, he may still have been more of a weapon for Van Gaal than his current faltering forward.

Van Persie has never been blessed with great pace and harms defences through intricate movements, but given United's speed on the counter, Hernandez may have been more suited to that style.

He would also have stretched the play more than Van Persie is currently doing, opening up more spaces for the likes of Angel Di Maria and Adnan Januzaj to work in. 

At Real Madrid, where Hernandez was loaned, he has been utilised fleetingly due to Karim Benzema's good form, but he has still made a positive impression.

He has scored four goals in just 10 appearances, with the majority of those coming as a substitute, and Van Gaal may have actually sacrificed the wrong striker this summer.

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