With new Mexico Manager, Victor Manuel Vucetich claiming that he would only be picking players in “rhythm” it would appear that the chances of Javier Hernandez being part of his plans are slim. With Mexico in desperate need of results in their forthcoming World Cup Qualifiers, a proven goalscorer would be valuable but having a fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford, the 25-year-old has seen his career stall. Falling out of favour with the national side, would be a further set-back and a fall from grace from 2 or 3 seasons ago when he was considered one of the hottest striking prospects in Europe.
Wednesday night’s rare start for Manchester United proved to be an ample reminder of the skills of Hernandez as his movement in the 6 yard box proved to be decisive in United’s win over Liverpool. However, in a cup competition where it is expected for sides like Manchester United to play fringe players will this have any baring on Chicharito’s future playing time?
David Moyes seems to favour playing only one central striker, normally the irreplaceable, Robin Van Persie but worryingly for Hernandez in last weekend’s thrashing at the hands of Manchester City with the Dutchman injured, Chicharito was still an unused substitute. Even when trailing and in need of goals, Moyes did not look to Hernandez. With this increasingly marginal role at Old Trafford and new Mexico boss Vucetich only wanting players in rhythm it would seem that Hernandez will also be, at best, among the substitutes for El Tri.
At 25 years of age, Hernandez needs to be playing. At most clubs in Europe, he would be considered a starter and so it now begs the question whether Manchester is the place for Chicharito to progress. The statistics prove just how effective Hernandez is and yet he finds himself behind Van Persie, Rooney and now, Danny Welbeck for the front role.
In the Premier League and Champions League since last year, Chicharito has much less playing time than the other 3. However, he has scored 13 goals, equal to Rooney and far more than Welbeck and in terms of minutes to goals he is leading the pack. A goal every 106 minutes as opposed to Van Persie’s goal every 123 minutes. In terms of shot conversion rate and shooting accuracy again, Hernandez comes out on top.
Playing on the last defender and looking for that yard of space in the box provides Hernandez with these opportunites but his lack of versatility is obviously his downfall. If the situation now arises that Mexico are without their best goal scorer as a result of him not playing enough then surely it is time that he went to play elsewhere. His threat from the bench would be a miss for Manchester United but a player of this calibre who should be leading his country needs to be playing every week.