Javier Hernandez Has a Decision to Make About His Manchester United Future
Manchester United need Javier Hernandez.
David Moyes might not need him to start every week. Maybe not even every other week.
But United need Hernandez.
Every club needs a striker like him.
Someone with lightning pace and a razor sharp eye for goal. Someone who can come off the bench and grab a last-minute game-winner out of nothing.
Only Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has scored more goals as a substitute for United.
Solskjaer scored 28 goals in 150 substitute appearances in 11 years at Old Trafford. Hernandez has already got 14 in 49.
He's the perfect impact player.
His pace over 10 yards and instinctive movement make him a nightmare for tiring defences. And his natural ability to find space in the penalty area means he only needs a half chance to nick a goal.
He might only be 5ft 9in, but he's as dangerous with his head as he is with his feet.
He wants to play on the shoulder of the last defender, disappearing behind the opposition back four in the blink of an eye.
He's a out-and-out goalscorer, more in the mould of Gary Lineker than Wayne Rooney.
He offers something different to Rooney, Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck—his competition at United.
But while his qualities are perfectly suited to being a valuable substitute, they don't always make him the ideal candidate to play from the start.
His slight frame makes it difficult for him to hold the ball up.
And he's happier looking beyond defences than coming back into midfield to pick up the ball and roll it out to his wingers or full-backs.
He'd rather be the one to finish the move than start it off.
That's not to say Hernandez should never start.
At the end of the 2010-11 season, his first as a United player, he played his way into Sir Alex Ferguson's starting XI for the Champions League final against Barcelona.
And his only goal this season came in his first start, against Liverpool in the Capital One Cup.
But, with the emergence of Welbeck and the arrival of Van Persie, opportunities are more limited now.
And while Van Persie and Rooney are fit and scoring goals, Hernandez will find it hard to break into Moyes' team for the biggest games.
It means he's got a decision to make.
At 25 years old, he's reaching his peak.
He could find more games elsewhere or stay and be part of a big squad at United.
Moyes would do well to do everything he can to keep him happy where he is.
But the decision rests with Hernandez.
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