Despite often impressing when representing Manchester United at Old Trafford, Javier Hernandez seemingly always struggled to establish himself as a guaranteed first team starter whilst operating in the Premier League.
He may have certainly gone down as a considerable goal-threat when patrolling the opposition’s half – but as some reputations simply stick whether or not they remain warranted – Chicharito found himself fulfilling the role of a ‘super-sub’, and nothing much more during his time among the English top-flight.
So, when Louis van Gaal therefore saw fit to end the Mexican’s spell with the Red Devils this summer, such a potentially dramatic turn of events didn’t actually seem much of a shock. The 27-year-old striker ultimately looked finished at Manchester United after going out on loan last season, no matter how much effort the newly acquired Bayer Leverkusen man admittedly put in at Old Trafford.
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However, in light of how dull and boring United have nonetheless proven up top this season, should the Red Devils be regretting their recent decision to part ways with Javier Hernandez, or did Louis van Gaal ultimately make the right call in the end?
Firstly, a few factors need to be made clear. For one thing, Javier Hernandez was clearly a goal-poacher.
If he were present among the current Manchester United options now, he certainly wouldn’t turn into and out-in-out play-maker all of a sudden. Creativity was just never quite Chicharito’s preferred area of expertise.
That said, someone with Hernandez’ clever movement in front of goal would most definitely open up a few important avenues among the Red Devils striking department. So far throughout 2015/16, Louis van Gaal’s side have proven distinctly uninventive within the final third, Manchester United’s overall style of play has justifiably been called into question – and although the club spent some quite frankly ridiculous sums of money on their squad in recent transfer windows – the current striking options available at Old Trafford remain limited to say the very least.
Although the team have certainly progressed a great deal at the back this term, van Gaal must improve the output of his strikers if his side are to finally reclaim their dominance back at the top of the Premier League table.
As things currently stand for the Red Devils, Anthony Martial seems a tad wasted out wide on the flanks, Memphis Depay looks like he’ll need a little while to adjust to the testing nature of the English top-flight, and as for Wayne Rooney – well, the current Manchester United and England captain hasn’t actually recorded a strong season in so long now, it remains difficult to remember just how good the former Everton man once was many moons ago.
If the Old Trafford faithful were to witness one or two significant injuries among their club’s striking department this season, Louis van Gaal’s team could all of a sudden find themselves in big trouble when it comes to scoring goals. The image of Marouane Fellaini coming off the subs-bench to be utilized as a aerially based centre-forward would subsequently become second nature at Manchester United, without any other options in place to fill such a void.
The Red Devils therefore should have arguably kept hold of Javier Hernandez this summer, just to offer them a wider range of options for the rest of the 2015/16 campaign. Chicharito was a player who allowed his team to play the right way, and if he’d maintained his place among Louis van Gaal’s starting options – who knows – Manchester United could be entertaining their fans and winning games in simultaneous style this season without batting an eye-lid.
As the club’s current Dutch boss seems rather attached to his preferred system of approach out on the pitch however (well, for want of a better phrase – long-ball tactics), it seems unlikely that Louis van Gaal would have ever utilized Javier Hernandez properly even if circumstances had forced him to give the little Mexican a starting role. From the perspective of the player himself, Chicharito seemingly made the right call in parting ways with United this summer, even if he could have still progressed further within the Premier League.
Either way, with all the resources currently at the Red Devils’ disposal these days, van Gaal will most probably sign a new striker in the January transfer window to help lift the burden on his current forwards – casting the memory of Javier Hernandez indefinitely aside with future plans on his mind.