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Javier Hernandez or Erick Torres: Who Is Best Choice for Mexico?

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR GUINNESS INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONS CUP - Manchester United forward Javier Hernandez (14) strikes the ball in the second half against the Real Madrid at Guinness International Champions Cup, on Saturday, August 2, 2014 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Rick Osentoski/AP Images for Guinness International Champions Cup)
Rick Osentoski/Associated Press
Karla Villegas GamaFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2014

Mexico is set to face Chile and Bolivia next month and Miguel Herrera has already picked six footballers who play abroad, including Erick Torres over Javier Hernandez. Is this the right call?

El Tri showed great improvement during Brazil 2014, compared to the qualification process. The 5-3-2 system provided them with a vertical threat and power through the flanks.

However, Herrera needs to start thinking of the 2018 World Cup.

In four years, Rafael Marquez will be 39 years old; Carlos Salcido will be 38 and Francisco Rodriguez, 36, but their experience may not be enough to make the team.

In the attacking zone, Mexico could use a striker who is both in shape and lethal.

In Brazil 2014, Oribe Peralta scored once, against Cameroon, and Hernandez vs. Croatia. The other three Mexican goals came from Giovani dos Santos (attacking midfielder), Marquez (centre-back) and Andres Guardado's (left midfielder) boots.

It's very important that Herrera finds a consistent footballer for the attacking zone. He knows it; no wonder why in an interview with ESPN he urged Hernandez to leave Manchester United for a team where he gets playing time.

Since El Piojo can't sit and wait for this to happen, he has capped Torres, a 21-year-old striker who plays for Chivas USA on a loan from Guadalajara.

El Cubo scored 16 goals in 64 appearances with the Mexican club. However, in his last tournament in the Liga MX (2013 Clausura) he only played 121 minutes and didn't score, as per MedioTiempo.com (Spanish).

Once in the MLS, Torres began to work hard toward recovering his confidence and knack for goalscoring, which he did in style.

So far he has put the ball away 17 times, becoming the league's all-time leading Mexican scorer. He also was the third-best scorer of the 2014 season with 14 goals, just behind Bradley Wright Phillips (20) and Dom Dwyer (16), according to the MLS website.

Torres is an undisputed starter for coach Wilmer Cabrera. He played all 24 league matches for a total of 2,075 minutes out of 2,160 possible.

El Cubo could very well debut with the senior team against Chile on September 6. His speed and current shape set him up as one of the main players to follow.

On the other hand, we have Chicharito. At age 26 he has already put the ball away 36 times with Mexico and is 10 goals shy from tying Jared Borgetti as the all-time scorer of El Tri.

Hernandez has struggled since Alex Ferguson left the club, and now he must impress Louis van Gaal

His lack of playing time has harmed his knack for goalscoring. Chicharito scored four during the 2013/14 Premier League season. He lost his accuracy and ability to surprise the defenders mainly because he was a regular on the bench.

This situation also harmed his chances of starting a game during the 2014 World Cup. Peralta and dos Santos were in charge of the last third of the pitch. Hernandez fought hard and managed to defeat Croatia's Stipe Pletikosa to put an end to his 12-month scoreless drought with El Tri.

But it doesn't seem like things will get better for Chicharito this season, as he has only appeared once in the Premier League and another in the Capital One Cup.

If Hernandez wants to secure the starting position with Mexico, he needs to play on a regular basis, and this won't happen with the Red Devils.

After a dreadful season under David Moyes' command and the current scenario, he should be ready to move on and find a team where he gets enough time to get back on track and show he still has what it takes to be a thriving force.

In the meantime, Torres is a far better option for Mexico. He won't disappoint in the upcoming friendlies. He may not play in the world’s best league, but he sure has talent and hunger to become the next big thing.

 

All stats appear courtesy of ESPN FC, unless otherwise noted.

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