United boss surely risks fan wrath with this rash sale.
Manchester United are said to be considering selling Javier Hernandez next summer according to claims in today’s Daily Express. The Mexican international is currently on loan at Real Madrid and in an unusual situation.
In some ways it is no surprise to see Hernandez being linked with an exit from Old Trafford. After all, he wasn’t in Louis van Gaal’s plans this season and he has rarely been a starter in the last three years, failing – in some people’s eyes – to kick on from a superb first season in the Premier League.
It wasn’t that long ago that Hernandez looked a superbly astute buy by Sir Alex Ferguson, who brought the deadly goal-poacher to United for just £6m. Less than twelve months later, he’d basically fired them to the title with some superb end-of-season form in front of goal.
Since then, his goals record has still been good, with 12 goals in all competitions in 2011/12, 18 the following year, and 9 in his final season with the club, all despite hardly ever starting matches. Although he has gained a reputation for being something of a limited player, there is clearly an ability there to score without needing many opportunities. This is a Ruud van Nistelrooy-like quality, and it is surprising that the 26-year-old isn’t being given more of a chance to become that kind of player for the Red Devils.
Real Madrid clearly recognised his talents as they signed him on loan this year, and again he has managed four goals despite limited opportunities. Reports now also suggest big names such as Arsenal and Liverpool are ready to pounce for him if he is sold next summer, which does make one wonder what United are missing.
With Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao hardly firing on all cylinders this season, it seems madness to think that the club could stick with them and even pursue a deal worth around £44m to make the Colombian flop’s move to the club permanent when the answer to their problems upfront is already right under their nose, and could start banging the goals in for one of their rivals if they’re not careful.
The sale of Danny Welbeck to Arsenal was surprising and fairly unpopular, but that is largely down to his status as a local lad and product of their youth team. Hernandez, meanwhile, is arguably a better player and van Gaal runs a real risk of alienating some sections of the Old Trafford support if he lets a good player join a rival again – especially if it’s Liverpool.
One has to admire United’s ambition in the transfer market, but there’s also a strength in making the best of what you already have, and this undervalued player is one the club should really think twice about in the coming months.