How Much of an Impact Can Manchester United's Javier Hernandez Have Next Season?

Max TowleAnalyst IJuly 11, 2012

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 31:  Chicharito of Manchester United scores a goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Stoke City at Old Trafford on January 31, 2012 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

It is typical in football that a young player struggles in his second season, having exceeded expectations in his first.

An affliction perhaps more commonly known as the "second album syndrome" or the "sophomore slump."

No words could better describe the experiences of Manchester United's Mexican starlet Javier Hernandez, who started his United career with a bang, only to see his impact severely reduced last campaign.

Granted, he suffered frustrating injuries at exactly the wrong time—damaging his ankle ligaments with the busy Winter period looming.

His standing at the club has also been marginalised with the emergence of English striker Danny Welbeck, who was arguably better in his build-up play than Hernandez, despite missing a hatful of chances early on.

To say that Chicharito is to blame for his minor slump would be difficult on the lad, of his 36 appearances in all competitions, a great number came from off the bench, as Sir Alex looked to develop him into more of an Ole Gunnar Solskjaer-type impact player.

In his debut season at the club, Hernandez managed to strike 20 times, far exceeding the expectations that came with his £6 million transfer from CD Guadalajara in the summer of 2010.


Included in that tally, vital goals were scored against Valencia and Marseille in the Champions League, as well as a famous strike just 36 seconds into the Red's title showdown with Chelsea.

Last season, Hernandez managed only 12.

Nevertheless, when called upon, he was able prove his importance to the club on several occasions, most notably in comeback draws with Liverpool and Chelsea.

But for all the positives that come with comparisons to Solskjaer, United's late-game legend, Hernandez should be wary of the connection.

He does not want to become the club's go-to substitute option, he should want to make his mark as the club's number one.

This will be difficult with Welbeck and Wayne Rooney pushing him for his place, but hard work on and off the field will be sure to catch the eye of Sir Alex and lead to more opportunities from the get-go.

Then, and only then, will Javier Hernandez have the kind of impact he desires at the most famous football club in the world.