Why the answer to Manchester United's striker woes could be much closer to home

The return of Javier Hernandez could prove the solution to Manchester United's recent lack of goals.

Manchester United fans can be excused for their mounting frustrations this season. After all, the club's performances have been less than inspiring, especially in an attacking sense.

League leaders Chelsea have 17-goal Diego Costa, second-placed Manchester City have 17-goal Sergio Aguero, while the Red Devils, in third, have relied on Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao to lead the line.

Between them the duo have hit the back of the net on just 14 occasions - Van Persie has 10 goals to his name, while Falcao has just four. The permanent signing of Falcao looks increasingly unlikely, while Van Persie's recent form has certainly been questionable.

Nonetheless, in the midst of speculation linking various big name players, including the likes of Paris Saint Germain's Edinson Cavani, with a move to Old Trafford, it's fair to suggest that the answer to Louis van Gaal's current woes, could be much, much closer to home - a player on the club's books, in fact.

Javier Hernandez, currently on loan with Spanish giants Real Madrid, appears a suitable solution to the club's current deficiencies. Excellent pace, impressive technique and a clinical eye for goal, the Mexican international could well become an integral performer at Old Trafford if given the opportunity by Van Gaal upon his return.

The 'little pea' has made just 10 La Liga appearances this season, but the Dutchman will be well aware of his ability, from both his performances in the Premier League and at international level. His most notable display this term came in Madrid's 8-2 victory over Deportivo, in which he netted a brace. 

  SeasonAppearancesGoals ScoredShot Accuracy (%)Conversion Rate (%)Minutes Played per App
Javier Hernández 2011-2012 28 10 47 21 53
Javier Hernández 2012-2013 22 10 52 23 43
Javier Hernández 2013-2014 24 4 52 19 35

The 26-year-old has scored 37 goals in his 102 appearances for the Red Devils - by no means the most prolific ratio - but this record has been tarnished over the years by a distinct lack of playing time. Nonetheless, despite playing far less often than he would have liked, he has still contributed a minimum of 10 league goals each term - his torrid season under David Moyes aside.

The little Mexican is a truly outstanding player when played regularly, but he hasn't been afforded the opportunity to do so in recent seasons. He is a goal poacher by trade, easily capable of accruing double figures and beyond each season, but he cannot do so without a run, or the opportunity to impress in the first team. 

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