Manchester United: Robin Van Persie Signing Makes Javier Hernandez Expendable

Colan Lamont@clamontsportAnalyst IIAugust 19, 2012

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 18: Belux Kasonga of Amazulu and Javier Hernandez of Manchester United battle for the ball  during the MTN Football Invitational match between Amazulu and Manchester United, at Moses Mabhida Stadium on July 18, 2012 in Durban, South Africa  (Photo by Peter Heeger/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Gallo Images/Getty Images

With the signing of Robin van Persie all wrapped up, Sir Alex Ferguson now has five top-class strikers at his disposal.

Van Persie, Dimitar Berbatov, Danny Welbeck, Wayne Rooney and Hernandez could walk into most starting lineups in the Premier League; but they can't all be kept happy if they are sitting on the bench.

Any departures among these strikers would be a surprise, but with an abundance of goal-scoring riches, can United really afford to keep a player of the calibre of Hernandez sitting in reserve?

Rooney and Van Persie are guaranteed starters, and even Welbeck is ahead of the Mexican in the squad, so it might not be good for United (or Hernandez) to keep their live-wire striker if he isn't going to even get the chance to replicate his 2010/11 season form.

Hernandez had a less effective campaign last year, which saw him having a reduced number of appearances and seven less goals than the season before.

Much of this was down to injury, but it was also down to a loss of form.

I'm not sure if Hernandez is a confidence player, but his goals do tend to appear in spurts—which is why having a poacher like the 24-year-old Mexican doing nothing won't help anyone.

Hernandez is arguably the most natural finisher the team has—he is a poacher in the purest sense of the word and a good one at that.

But that doesn't take away from the fact that his all-around game leaves a lot to be desired.

Some of his shortcomings may have been ignored before, but with the signing of Van Persie, his impact off the bench isn't quite as much of a necessity.

I love Hernandez's energy, but the truth is that Sir Alex's "born offside' moniker used in reference to Filipo Inzaghi is probably just as fitting of his very own striker.

Now, I'm all for a striker playing on the shoulder, but Hernandez likes to play five yards in front of the defender's shoulder, which can be a problem.

He also has little to no involvement in much of the build-up play, which may be a problem if he isn't getting the goals or a consistent run in the side.

Then again, if he is banging in the goals, nobody will even notice his poor all-around game.

The fact is that Hernandez can provide a spark, but he also offers less than the strikers who will most likely get more opportunities than him.

At 24 years old, he isn't exactly a kid anymore and as such, I think a good bid for him should really be considered.

I understand he is somewhat of a cult hero at Old Trafford based on the online forums and United fans I know, but I think he is definitely expendable.

I personally love his style of play and would love to see him as a starter, but I just can't see him as anything more than a fourth-string striker at the moment.

I hope I'm wrong because I think the team's style is actually more suited to his style of play than he would find elsewhere.

Chelsea had a bid rejected for Hernandez, as per ESPN:


ESPN understands that Manchester United have rejected an approach from Chelsea for Mexican striker Javier Hernandez.…

— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) August 17, 2012



I would never condone selling him to a rival because that is always a bad idea, but I also wouldn't dissuade teams from at least beginning the feeling-out process.

Hernandez loves the team and I'm sure the feeling is mutual, but sentiment alone isn't enough to stop a team from rejecting a £15 million-plus offer.

By no means am I saying the fan favourite has to go, only that the embarrassing amount of riches United have up front means he isn't a key player anymore.


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