Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez burst on to the scene at the World Cup, lucky then, that Manchester United had already agreed to sign the ‘little pea’ beforehand, for what was a relatively insignificant fee. His performances in South Africa excited United fans, and many believed they had a real prospect on their hands, a reputation that was only enhanced by his impressive displays pre-season. First team starts this season have been rare however, and with United not playing particularly well at the moment maybe it is time Sir Alex Ferguson started giving Hernandez more appearances in the first eleven.
Perhaps surprisingly it has been Dimitar Berbatov who has been the star man in United’s frontline so far this season, netting seven goals in just nine appearances. Wayne Rooney has been struggling for form, so often Berbatov has been starting as a loan centre forward, but the Bulgarian is still somewhat inconsistent and if he is not firing another striker needs to be present.
In last weeks Champions League game against Valencia, Ferguson used a loan frontman in the form of Berbatov, entirely understandable in a tough away fixture in Europe, but until he brought on two strikers United looked toothless up front. Late in the game the United boss brought Javier Hernandez and Federico Macheda on, and an instant impact was made. A jinking run down the right from Nani saw him feed the ball to Macheda, who passed to Hernandez, the Mexican striker controlled the ball instantly, and clinically finished into the bottom corner to win the game for the Red Devils. This is what Ferguson and United’s supporters hoped Hernandez would bring to the table, lethal finishing ability.
After his excellently taken goal against Valencia, many might have expected Hernandez to start against Sunderland on the weekend. Ferguson decided to go with Michael Owen and Federico Macheda as his starting pair however, and in the first half Man Utd offered nothing up front as Sunderland dominated. Berbatov and Hernandez were brought on in the second half, and there was an improvement after the break, but United never really looked like posing a real threat to the Sunderland defence.
It is difficult to always make an impact from the bench though, and maybe Ferguson should consider starting Javier Hernandez in a few more games. The Mexican has lightning pace that is something defenders are always wary of, and has already proven in his young career that he is a more than capable finisher. It is not as if Hernandez is a teenager either, he is 22 years old and thus he needs to be playing regular football at this stage in his career.
After the international break United’s next game is against West Brom at home, and this could be the perfect game for Hernandez to start. West Brom look like a good team this season but they like to attack and as a result they can sometimes leave themselves open at the back, something Chicharito could exploit to great effect. If he could start and get a goal, it would really give some confidence and get his season into gear. Hernandez looks like an excellent prospect, but he is going to have to get starts if he is to improve as a player and get used to the Premier League, I am sure his time will come but Ferguson may want to consider giving him this time sooner rather than later.