Manchester United: How Does Robin Van Persie Transfer Affect Chicharito?

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Manchester United: How Does Robin Van Persie Transfer Affect Chicharito?
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Manchester United made the biggest splash in this summer's transfer market on Wednesday by capturing disgruntled Arsenal striker Robin van Persie in a £24 million swoop, according to David Ornstein of BBC Sport.

With this capture, United will be the popular favorite to win the Premier League this upcoming season—and for a good reason; van Persie and Wayne Rooney were the two highest goal scorers in the EPL last season, combining for a mesmerizing 57 goals.

By comparison, 14 of the 20 sides in the Premier League last season scored fewer than 57 goals, including fifth-place finisher Newcastle United.

The threat alone that van Persie and Rooney possess will cause defenses to tremble in fear. This will allow several other potent United weapons like Antonio Valencia and Nani to record what could be the best season of their respective careers.

But lost in the celebration of van Persie is the future of United's other strikers: Dimitar Berbatov, Danny Welbeck and Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez.

Berbatov was going to leave after having limited playing time last year. Though Berbatov was a co-winner of the Premier League's Golden Boot in 2011, his loss comes as a direct result of the rise of Chicharito and Rooney's recovered form.

In the case of Welbeck, he will stay long term. After 30 appearances and nine goals in the Premier League last season, Welbeck started all four of England's matches in Euro 2012, playing an important role in an unlikely first-place group finish in the process.

Welbeck's heroics led to a a five-year contract worth £75,000 a week (via Neil Ashton of the Daily Mail). Considering how well he played last year and that salary, Welbeck will probably find himself as the third striker on this deep United attack.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Chicharito's heroics against Chelsea allowed United to overtake their London rivals throughout 2011.

Just a year removed from his late-season heroics that secured a Premier League title and a spot in the Champions League final, Chicharito finds himself at the bottom of United's striking core.

Chicharito was clearly not on his best form at the beginning of the season, due in large part to a concussion that he suffered before the season started.

But still, Chicharito did register 10 goals and found himself starting alongside Rooney frequently, though the Mexican international was clearly not at the same level as he was just a year before.

With van Persie and Welbeck now ahead of him, Chicharito's future at Old Trafford could be in jeopardy.

In discussing the van Persie transfer, David McDonnell of The Mirror stated that Chicharito was frustrated with less chances to start. The paper also claimed that he told Sir Alex Ferguson that he wants to leave.

When analyzing this rumor, you could believe that Chicharito wants to leave, but I find that to be unlikely.

Chicharito has always shown a team-first attitude while with Manchester United. Earlier this month, he told the club's official website (via Fox Sports):

"I would swap every one of my goals for a title with Manchester United."

I find it highly unlikely that the acquisition of van Persie would cause Chicharito to immediately want to leave Man United.

Phil Cole/Getty Images
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saved many matches for Man United during his 11 seasons at Old Trafford.

Let's not forget that after Chicharito was signed in 2010, no one knew whether he was going to immediately grab the starting reins over Berbatov or if he was going to become a super-sub.

That super-sub role was what made Chicharito so famous at United in the first place. Shortly after Hernandez signed with United, Ferguson said (via Bob Cass of the Daily Mail):

"He reminds me a lot of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer...He has two quick feet and pace to burn. And he knows where the goal is. I think he will be a marvellous addition to our squad."

During his first season, that praise grew. Chicharito rescued multiple league fixtures that were poised to end in draws and poached United to victory. It is likely that if it weren't for those heroics, United would not have clinched their 19th league title.

Now more than a year removed from those heroics, Chicharito might become the most effective replacement for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that United could get. Chicharito has the qualities that make him an effective super-sub.

Chicharito's positioning is outstanding. Even though he has had problems in the past with his positioning on offsides plays, Chicharito still has strong ability in beating the offside trap and getting his chance against the keeper.

Furthermore, Chicharito has fantastic skill with heading despite being one of the smallest footballers on the pitch (5'9'').

Couple those traits with his speed, and defenders will have their work cut out. Chicharito is a deadly force when he comes in late, and his scorer's punch could be the difference for United in wins.

 

Follow me on Twitter @Andrew_Jordan

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