For fans of Manchester United, there seems to be no respite whatsoever from the disappointment and sheer drudgery that has engulfed the club ever since David Moyes replaced Sir Alex Ferguson as manager this summer.
Most of the club's younger supporters are evidently despairing, with the thought of regressing into mid-table mediocrity a frightening though to ponder given that most of them have known nothing but success in recent years.
Given the fact that Moyes painfully failed to make an undoubted success of his first transfer window in charge at Old Trafford, so much of United's upcoming fortunes and indeed those of the manager will rest upon what business the club are able to do in January.
Yesterday, it was reported that Manchester United were preparing a move for Inter Milan midfielder Fredy Guarin - a player reportedly rated by his club at around the £15 million mark.
Other reports also suggested that the Serie A outfit were hoping to exploit Moyes' interest in Guarin to potentially land Mexican striker Javier Hernandez as part of an exchange deal.
Now, in my opinion, Guarin would represent an adequate - if not quite stellar - midfield signing who would give Moyes an improved and incredibly versatile option in midfield.
However, while I believe Guarin is a worthwhile target, I think that Moyes must stop well short of any deal that would see Manchester United give up Hernandez in return.
While he has never really been given an extended starting run to prove he is indeed worthy of a starting spot at Old Trafford since his arrival from Guadalajara back in 2010, the affectionately-named 'Chicarito' is a crucial member of the first-team setup whose valuable contributions should not be underestimated.
As an impact substitute, few in the world are better than Hernandez, whose effort levels, eye for goal and busy playing style have seen him score countless important goals off the bench.
Given that Dutch frontman Robin van Persie is facing a four-month layoff with a troublesome thigh injury sustained during Tuesday night's not-so-emphatic 1-0 Champions League victory over Shakhtar Donetsk, the contributions of the Little Pea are sure to be more valuable than ever before during the crucial festive period.
I am not saying that an affordable and realistic deal for Guarin should not be pursued. However, Moyes, at this point in time, must not offer Hernandez in any sort of exchange deal.
Despite his shortcomings, Hernandez still has so much to offer Manchester United and losing him could deal a potentially fatal blow to morale that Moyes could struggle to recover from - particularly if Guarin did not hit the ground running immediately or struggled to acclimatise to his new surroundings.
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