Is Javier Hernandez really one of the world’s top strikers?

Javier Hernandez

The Real Madrid forward has had a frustrating season at the Bernabeu, but only as difficult as Radamel Falcao's own loan spell at Manchester United has been.

Javier Hernandez is quoted by Sky Sports as saying he feels he is up there with the world's best, but does he have the figures to back such a claim?

Hernandez has struggled to get minutes at the Bernabeu, very much playing second fiddle to Real Madrid's attacking superstars Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and James Rodriguez.

The Mexican striker has 19 appearances for the La Liga giants, but just 581 minutes under his belt, coming at a paltry 31 minutes per appearance.

Things are at their most difficult in the league, where Hernandez has completed 90 minutes just once, against Levante in October - the only time he has played more than 26 minutes in Spanish top flight. During his few months in Spain, the forward has found the net just four times.

This limited game time has not stopped the striker from feeling he has something to offer at the very best clubs, with the 26-year-old comfortable at looking at himself as among the top forwards in the world, and worthy of a role in Carlo Ancelotti's plans, with the United loanee eager to make the most of his opportunities. 

"I feel on a par with the best in the world," Hernandez is quoted by Sky Sports as saying at a Microsoft promotional event.

"I am here for something and, in the few opportunities that I have had, I have tried to show it. I will be prepared for that opportunity that I am waiting for.”

Starring from the bench is a role Hernandez is used to, with many of the former Guadalajara forward's goals for Manchester United coming as a substitute.

But Hernandez also struggled to make an impression for United last year, netting nine times in 35 matches during the difficult David Moyes era, his lowest since he arrived at Old Trafford.

However poor his statistics are, Hernandez is posting the same figures as Radamel Falcao, a player widely held up as one of the game's top strikers, with the former Porto and Atletico star also scoring 4 goals in 19 games despite playing many more minutes.

With both loan players struggling, perhaps United would have been better off keeping Hernandez in Manchester and saving on the Colombian's significant wages.

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