Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez could finally be on his way out of Old Trafford in the coming days after a difficult couple of years at the club.
It all started so well for the Mexican as he quickly proved his credentials at the Theatre of Dreams, and was likened to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for his knack of scoring from the bench and at crucial moments.
However, since the arrival of Robin van Persie, Hernandez has found opportunities hard to come by under the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson and David Moyes. And now, with Dutchman Louis van Gaal at the helm, it seems like his time at the Red Devils is coming to an abrupt end.
Where did it go wrong?
Of course Van Persie's introduction didn't help Hernandez. After all, the Dutch superstar took Old Trafford by storm when he arrived at the club from Arsenal in the summer of 2012, as he played a key role in helping Ferguson bow out at the top with another Premier League title.
But, there's more to it than just Van Persie's switch. In 2012/13, Hernandez didn't have a bad season. In just 22 Premier League appearances, he found the net on 10 occasions. That's not a bad return.
Last season, however, as United struggled, Hernandez's form suffered. Once again last season, Hernandez wasn't a regular, but he had opportunities as the likes of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie struggled with injuries.
In fact, under David Moyes, Hernandez played four more league games than the previous season, but he only found the net on four occasions. Of course, a number of these appearances came from the bench, but he's have been hoping for much better than that.
What must really disappoint the Mexican, however, is that he failed to make a serious impact when starting or from the bench. When looking at his four league goals last season, it can be argued that only one of his strikes really changed a game.
His goal – from the bench – at Old Trafford against Stoke City last term was typical of Hernandez as he headed home late on to help Manchester United turn defeat into victory.
His other three goals came in 4-0 and 4-1 victories over Newcastle United and Aston Villa, whilst his other strike came when the Red Devils were already 3-0 down at Stamford Bridge. In fairness to Hernandez, he does have some record against the Blues.
But, last season's statistics aren't great for a player who's built his reputation on changing games.
His decline hasn't just been recognised by those at Old Trafford; he struggled for game time for Mexico at this summer's World Cup too. Despite finding the net in Brazil, he never really did enough to prove that he was worthy of a chance.
He's not Solskjaer
As mentioned, Hernandez – in his early days at United – was compared to Solskjaer on occasions. But, in truth, Chicharito is no where near in the same class as the Manchester United legend.
Solskjaer was part of Manchester United's greatest ever front four; Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole and Teddy Sheringham were unique and fine players. The Norwegian, unsurprisingly spent spells on the bench at Old Trafford, and scored a number of goals as a substitute – most famously in Barcelona against Bayern Munich. His four goals from the bench against Nottingham Forest in an 8-1 Manchester United victory weren't bad either.
But, Solskjaer was more than just a substitute. Many may forget because of his excellence from the bench, but he also started a number of games for United. And, when starting, he continued scoring.
Unlike Hernandez, he wasn't just a goal-poacher, he could do his part for the team. Where the Mexican struggles in United's build up play, Solskjaer was more often than not in the thick of it. Solskjaer was part of a fine group, but he outlasted Cole, Yorke and Sheringham.
Chicharito does, of course, have some similar traits to Solskjaer, but the Mexican struggles when starting and fails to produce the right pass on a regular basis.
Hernandez will succeed
Don't get me wrong, though, Hernandez doesn't deserve to be crucified. It's not his fault that he's been compared to Solskjaer, and he will enjoy success again, but it must be away from Old Trafford.
His movement in the final third is extraordinary, and if he can find his confidence, then he will start firing again. But, right now, United is certainly not the club for him. The Red Devils are currently struggling for an identity on the pitch, and Hernandez isn't the type of player to help the club find one.
He needs to join a stable club, who suit his style; he needs to play on a permanent basis. Perhaps a move out of the Premier League – to Juventus or Atletico Madrid perhaps – would help him find his best form again.
At 26-years-old, Hernandez should be entering the prime of his career, so it's time to move on and fall back in love with football again.
What for United?
If – as expected – Hernandez does depart Old Trafford, in the coming days, many will expect the club to enter the market for a replacement. But, this shouldn't – and probably won't - happen. In fact, United already have a ready made replacement for Hernandez in the shape of teenager James Wilson.
Wilson, who excelled on his debut under Ryan Giggs at the back end of last season, deserves to be pushed up the ranks at Old Trafford. His wonderful debut brace on that day in May as Manchester United beat Hull City 3-1 was a shining light for the club in a dismal season.
The youngster won the club's Young Player of the Year award last term, and with statistics like these it's not hard to see why: nine goals in 10 games for the U18s, five goals in six games for the U19s and eight goals in 12 for the reserve side. He wasn't far off a goal a game last term, and proved he could score on any stage - including the Premier League.
He certainly has the backing of Giggs, and he showed Van Gaal what he can do in his short cameo this past. Manchester United's humiliating 4-0 defeat to the MK dons will go down in history as one of the club's worst ever results, but Wilson was once again a breath of fresh air when he entered the pitch.
In his short appearance, he looked more likely to score than the likes of Hernandez and Danny Welbeck. Another ex-United striker recently insisted that Wilson has a bright future in the game.
Speaking about the youngster, Andy Cole told ManUtd.com: "Wilson is definitely one for the future.
"He scores goals and when you're doing that as a centre-forward at this football club, you always have half a chance.
"He knows how to hit the back of the net. He finishes well and he's got a good left foot. He's very direct as well - he likes to pick it up and run at people. He'll have a big future."
Cole certainly recognises Wilson as one for the future, but perhaps he's ready now. Of course, he won't be a regular starter, but he has the ability to replace the goals of Hernandez, and perhaps prove he's an even better player than the Mexican.
Manchester United fans: Do you think it's time for Hernandez to leave? And do you think Wilson can replace him? Have your say below!
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