Mexico boss Miguel Herrera has urged Javier Hernandez to join Juventus, saying the bit-part striker "needs to leave" Manchester United.
Herrera's side impressed at the World Cup, where El Tri and the man in charge gained many plaudits for their well-drilled, unflinching sense of character against testing teams. Unfortunately for Hernandez, a poor club season meant he was unable to make an impression.
His national boss thinks it's time for Chicharito to move on, according to Jeff Carlisle of ESPN FC:
I think (Chicharito) needs to leave. I think (Juventus) would be a good option for him. When a coach doesn't want you - when you have your best experience, your best moment with them, and now the coach that wanted you is no longer there - it's time to move.
I think there are a lot of opportunities. They are not bad opportunities. If he goes to Juventus that would be an extraordinary team. Without a doubt, it would be a nice change for him. Hopefully he'll see more minutes.
Should Louis van Gaal sell Javier Hernandez this summer?
Hernandez made just six starts and 18 substitute appearances in the Premier League last season, per WhoScored.com.
David Moyes, like Sir Alex Ferguson, found it difficult to integrate the specialist finisher into a consistent starting role. Such a problem has remained throughout Hernandez's career at Old Trafford, highlighted by the fact he's never started more than 18 games in one domestic league campaign for the Red Devils.
Considering that his movement and predatory instincts rank with the best in the world, it's difficult to understand at times why Hernandez struggles for game time.
However, he isn't a player who offers a great deal outside of the opposition's area, a noticeable problem when the likes of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie dictate around the halfway line and beyond.
Despite showing great energy during the latter stages of last season, Hernandez's distribution and hold-up play remain a problem. He has to move the ball quickly due to his minimal size, meaning passes are often rushed and leave United toothless up top. He completed just 78.6 percent of passes in five Champions League appearances last year, per WhoScored.com.
He's also a player who tends to stray offside when play is filtered his way, and even his finishing ability has lessened dramatically in a short space of time. This is highlighted below:
|Season||PL Appearances||Goals||Goals per game|
Paul Ansorge of United Rant described Hernandez's situation rather succinctly in his recent Bleacher Report UK column: "He remains too good to be wasted on United's bench and not good enough to break into the first team. If he leaves for pastures new, he will go with the blessing of most United fans."
Hernandez's poor club form affected his status in Herrera's national side and saw him dropped from the starting lineup prior to the World Cup. This kind of fall was unthinkable one year ago. He remained on the sidelines during the Brazilian tournament, heading into four matches from the bench.
Despite Louis van Gaal's suggestion that United will play two strikers next season, Hernandez's role is destined to remain limited. The Dutchman watched on as Hernandez headed a nice goal during the preseason victory over Real Madrid, but there's no indication he is willing to drop Rooney or Van Persie to fit the Mexican in.
Considering Van Persie is likely to miss United's opening Premier League match with Swansea, per Reuters (h/t The Guardian), Hernandez may receive one final chance to impress the Old Trafford crowd before moving on.
While it would be harsh to remember Hernandez's tenure as unsuccessful—he has won two Premier League titles with the side—a sense of unfulfillment will certainly fester if he is pushed through the exit door. Yet at the onset of United's new era, there still appears to be little more than a secondary role on offer for Little Pea.