Monday, 31 August 2015

Hernandez Leaves United

After 5 years at the club, Javier Hernandez has today left Manchester United for Bayer Leverkusen. The Mexican has signed a three-year contract with the Bundesliga side for a reported fee of around £7.3 million.

Hernandez scored 57 goals in 159 appearances
Hernandez joined United in the summer of 2010, making his competitive debut and scoring his first goal for the club against Chelsea in the FA Community Shield. He played an important role that season, scoring an impressive twenty goals during his debut campaign as well as helping United to regain the Premier League trophy.

Make no mistake, Chicharito was not a failure. In my eyes he has been a huge success, and he is someone who United desperately needed to keep hold of. With no obvious marquee signing imminent, letting the Mexican leave seems somewhat of a mystery. The reported arrival of young Frenchman Anthony Martial for £36 million, a fee that will make the Monaco striker the most expensive teenager in world football, suggests that Louis Van Gaal is more than happy to have the nineteen year old, youngster James Wilson and captain Wayne Rooney as the only recognised strikers in his current squad. Unless he brings in a stellar name before the deadline tomorrow evening, it seems very bizarre that the Dutchman is willing to rely on those three alone, given the current form of his club captain and the fact that Wilson and definitely Martial are yet to prove themselves at this level.

Robin Van Persie has also left Old Trafford this summer
In the eyes of many Manchester United fans, Van Gaal has made a mistake in letting Chicharito leave so close to the transfer deadline. If United fail to make any more signings before tomorrow evening, their business this summer will be seen as a disappointment. The players the Old Trafford club have brought in are excellent footballers and great additions to the squad, but the departures of so many faces have significantly overshadowed that. With Robin Van Persie, Nani, Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao and now Hernandez all leaving United during this transfer window, the options Van Gaal now has at his disposal in the attacking third are extremely limited. Adnan Januzaj, the young Belgian who the Dutchman described as being more than capable of playing the same striking role as Wayne Rooney when required this season, has today also left the club to join Borussia Dortmund on a season-long loan deal. Something seems to be missing at the moment. It is as if a major piece of information is yet to be released from the club. Surely a club the size of Manchester United is not going to rely on a nineteen year old to lead the line for them in the absence of Wayne Rooney? Surely they do not expect him to hit the ground running during his first season in England? I am not doubting the kid's ability for one second, it is just strange that United are willing to pay a staggering sum of money for potential when they could have paid £15 million less for ex-Barcelona forward Pedro, someone who has proved himself and has a wealth of experience at the highest level.

I don't blame Hernandez for wanting regular football. I don't blame any player for wanting regular football. Too many footballers nowadays are happy to sit on the bench and accept their huge weekly pay-packets, regardless of whether they spend any minutes on the pitch. Chicharito isn't like that. Yes, he spent the majority of his time at Old Trafford as a bit-part player, and the same applied when he moved to Real Madrid on loan last year. He has always played second fiddle, first to Wayne Rooney or Robin Van Persie at United, and then to Karim Benzema or Cristiano Ronaldo at Madrid. The time has come for the Mexican international to move on in his career and assert himself as one of Europe's leading strikers. Diego Forlan transformed his career after leaving United, finishing top of the goalscoring charts in La Liga whilst at Atletico Madrid, before finishing level with Thomas Muller as the joint top goalscorer at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Guiseppe Rossi was also a huge success in Europe after leaving Manchester. The Italian scored 54 goals in 136 games for Spanish side Villarreal, before netting an impressive 16 goals in 21 games for Fiorentina during the 2013-14 season.

Chicharito was loved by the United fans
I will be extremely surprised if Hernandez fails to make an impact in Germany. He has scored goals wherever he has been. If he has a regular run in the side, expect him to find the net at least twenty times this season. A poacher, a natural goalscorer and when required from the bench a fantastic substitute, you cannot help but feel that United will regret letting him go. Hernandez would certainly make my United squad.

Manchester United fans will now be waiting impatiently. With the transfer window closing at 6pm tomorrow evening, the arrival of a marquee signing is the news that everyone is hoping for. Will tomorrow provide a mouth-watering finale to what has already been an extremely busy summer? Will Louis Van Gaal pull out all the stops to secure the services of one of Europe's biggest names? Only time will tell. The clock is ticking.

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