Javier Hernandez Must Leave Manchester United to Be El Tri's Cornerstone Again

Karla Villegas Gama@karlitsvFeatured ColumnistOctober 27, 2013

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 16:  Javier Hernandez of Mexico celebrates scoring his team's first goal from a penalty kick to make the score 1-1 during the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 Group A match between Mexico and Italy at the Maracana Stadium on June 16, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Javier Hernandez has gotten few minutes with Manchester United since David Moyes took over, which has has hurt Chicharito's performance with Mexico's national team. He needs continuity to go back to his old self with El Tri.

Hernandez has played three full seasons with United and less than half of the fourth one. However, Chicharito is going through his worst goal drought (August to October) with both sides since 2010, when he joined the Red Devils.

In 2010, Hernandez scored once with El Tri, which may not be very impressive until you realize that he played once, against Spain, in a friendly that commemorated Mexico’s bicentennial.

Meanwhile, with Manchester United, he got six goals in 12 games.

A year later, Dimitar Berbatov left the team, but the arrival of Danny Welbeck put Hernandez in another battle for the starting position. His effort was rewarded, as he played 11 times and scored four goals with the club.

He was also called to represent El Tri in three games—Poland, Chile and Brazil—and managed to score once.

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His most successful period so far came in 2012. Even though Robin van Persie arrived at Manchester United, Hernandez appeared in 11 matches and scored eight times, including a brace against Braga in the UEFA Champions League.

With the national team, he started five games and sent the ball to the back of the net three times, all of them in World Cup qualifiers.

Unfortunately, he has had a tough time in 2013. He has only played seven times with United (269 minutes) and has scored twice.

He has appeared four times with Mexico but he has failed to put the ball in the net. He missed a penalty kick against Panama at the Estadio Azteca.

August-OctoberTotal gamesTotal minutes playedTotal goalsManchester United (games)Manchester United (minutes played)Manchester United (goals)Mexico (games)Mexico (minutes played)Mexico (goals)
Femexfut.org.mx and ManUtd.com

How about a comparison of all of his seasons since he arrived to Manchester United? The outlook does not seem so good, either.

Hernandez tied Luis Garcia's record as the best Mexican in his debut season in Europe, with 20 goals. Garcia did it with Atletico de Madrid in the 1992-93 season. 

Chicharito's goal count with the Red Devils was lower in 2011-12 because he suffered a series of injuries that sidelined him for the Christmas period. However, he managed to score 12 times. 

The Gold Cup was a great tournament for him. Mexico secured the title in a tough match against the United States, while Hernandez received the Golden Boot Award (seven goals) and the Most Valuable Player Award.

He contributed with two more goals against Serbia and Poland, both friendly games.

But his third season was bittersweet.

Although he scored 18 times with his club—including three of United's six goals against Braga in the UEFA Champions League—his performance with Mexico dropped.

For the first time in his career, Hernandez failed to score in nine games out of a total of 15, or 60 percent.

The red flags that suggested he was out of shape and that his lack of play with the Red Devils was hurting his goal-scoring knack with El Tri were evident at the World Cup qualifier. 

For the first time since his debut overseas, Hernandez failed to score in four consecutive games, against Guyana, El Salvador, United States and Costa Rica. 

He ended his drought in the second leg of qualifying against Los Ticos on September 11, 2012. 

However, 2013 has not been a walk in the park for Hernandez.

Although he was Mexico’s sole scorer in the Confederations Cup (three goals), he missed a penalty kick against Japan.

He has yet to score at the Estadio Azteca; the last time he accomplished the feat was in October 2012. His chances are slim now, as Mexico has only one more game scheduled at home this year, which is the first leg of the World Cup qualification playoff against New Zealand.

Also, for the first time in 12 games with El Tri (11 months), he started on the bench until he finally was sent on at the 68th minute against Honduras.

He has not scored for Mexico since June 2013, his longest drought since his debut with Manchester United.

SeasonTotal gamesTotal goalsManchester United (played)Manchester United (unused sub)Manchester United (goals)Mexico (played)Mexico (unused sub)Mexico (goals)
Femexfut.org.mx and ManUtd.com

If Chicharito wants to be El Tri's key player and its best finisher again, he has to leave Manchester United for a club that gives him the confidence and continuity he clearly needs.