Michael Owen has compared Javier Hernandez’s striking technique to his own, saying that the pair have a similar instinct when they chase the ball.
Hernandez’s agent confirmed today that the striker signed a new contract with United, with the 24-year-old now tied to Old Trafford for five years.
And Owen believes that while Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov are fantastic strikers, the instinct that Hernandez shows on the pitch is a lot like his own.
"A lot of great strikers seem to have instincts built into their make-up,” Owen told the Manchester United website.
“There’s definitely an intuitive element that goes with being a striker – or at least being a certain type of striker. I’d say that I was an instinctive striker, as is somebody like Chicharito.
“But I wouldn’t have said Wayne Rooney or Dimitar Berbatov are as reliant on instinct as we are. It comes down to making the right runs and being in the right position at the right time.
“You always have to be ready; you have to be on your toes anticipating where the ball will be.
“As I said, some people seem to have a knack for that sort of play from an early age and, of course, years of playing as a striker helps hone that as well.”
Owen explained that with experience comes a better understanding of the game as a whole, giving fans hope that Hernandez will get even better than the star he is for United now.
"I think the deeper understanding of the game came, in my case, just through experience,” he said. “The ability to play different types of passes, to score different sorts of goals – it all came from testing stuff out on the pitch.
“I’d find myself one-on-one with the goalkeeper and try a certain type of finish. If it worked, I’d try it again the next time. If it didn’t, I’d try something else.
“So you teach yourself how to react to different situations, based on the situations you’ve been in previously. It’s a gradual process and you need a lot of luck too.”
Owen will be hoping to get another look in after some top-class performances for United in the Carling Cup and pre-season matches, but the striker has big competition to contend with, as Rooney and Danny Welbeck continue to boast top form.