The hunt is over. After what seemed like hundreds of strikers were linked with our club, we finally have one.
‘Chicharito’ has returned to England, and we should be pleased with our new man. Javier Hernandez spent five years at Manchester United, mainly under Sir Alex Ferguson, clocking up more than 150 appearances, many of which were from the bench.
This is where he was well known as a super-sub, with his sheer pace and his fl air, often he would be able to grab a late goal. In a collection of strikers that included Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, Hernandez had to play well when he had the chance. He did so. Scoring frequently, where lots would struggle with quite sporadic playing time, thus showing his strong character
I think everyone was a bit surprised when Hernandez was shipped out on loan to Real Madrid, or perhaps not after playing in the embarrassing 4-0 MK Dons defeat six days before. A strange deal in most eyes, given the quality of Madrid’s forwards. But off he went. Probably his most notable contribution was knocking Atletico Madrid out of the Champions League Quarter final, with a crucial goal in a narrow 1-0 win. But after making only 23 appearances, 16 from the bench, Madrid chose not to make the deal a permanent one.
After a long summer, Hernandez was finally sold to Leverkusen in August 2015 for an estimated £7.3 million. After falling out of favour at two different clubs, there was a lot of doubt as to whether there was still that proven goalscorer there.
But Hernandez set the record straight, with a whopping 26 goals in all competitions and a place in the Bundesliga team of the season to go with it. Last season he was not as prolific, with only 13 goals including a goal drought of 11 games. I don’t think there is much to worry about for us though as he came out the other side and bagged the player of the month award the following month; taking his total to five awards in his two seasons.
Bouncing back shows a striker with passion and grit. He will bring this with him. After Moyes and Van Gaal not seeing the player Sir Alex saw, he has a point to prove and he will prove himself. Just a super-sub? Can Javier cut it as a main man? I think he can, and his stats back it up. At Leverkusen he was very successful. Comparing his goals per minute from his Manchester United career to his Leverkusen career, there is only a small difference.
A goal every 131 minutes with United compared to one every 142 minutes in Germany. Showing whether sub, or starter, he will get his goals. But what about his age? At 29, with pace as Chicharito’s main asset, there is potential that age could be an issue. However, players are so fit now, they can play at the top level for longer.
One thing that will not leave his game will be his knack for goals. Hernandez is a goalscorer and that won’t change. He will always find a way to the back of the net. Too high a wage? This aspect of all our new signings particularly worries me. Rumours of a £140k-a-week salary will no doubt put a question in the minds of our current players earning significantly less. Hart, Arnautovic and Zabaleta are all on good wages, and this comes after there were concerning rumours about disharmony from Snodgrass and Fonte’s wages.
This could cause even more uproar. Hopefully it won’t, but if things don’t go our way, this may be seen as a reason why. A good fit? Yes. Pace in the Premier league is a huge asset, he has a lot. He’s a proven goalscorer for club and country.
Premier league quality? Shown at United. Our style of play? Very hardworking and a natural striker he will fit in up top. Able with his feet, he will cope with balls to feet and in behind, which is something we need. Then with good quality crossing, I have confidence in his aerial ability. He is in many ways a complete forward.
Will Javier put an end to our striker search? I’ve not been this confident for quite some time.