Javier Hernandez completed his season-long loan move to Real Madrid from Manchester United on transfer deadline day.
The arrival of Monaco striker Radamel Falcao on a loan deal has opened the door for the Mexican’s move to Santiago Bernabeu, and I believe it is a very shrewd piece of business by the UEFA Champions League winners.
The situation at Madrid
As followers of La Liga will know, Karim Benzema is Real’s undisputed first-choice at centre forward which is all very well and good, but what if he picks up an injury or becomes unavailable?
Yes, Cristiano Ronaldo can easily slot into the role – after all, his ratio of more than a goal a game speaks for itself. And the attacking three that operate behind the striker provide plenty of goals and can easily rotate. With the likes of Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Isco, the list goes on.
But what Real are really lacking, and have been for some time, is a good proven back-up centre forward if needed. Not a direct replacement for Benzema by any means, but someone who can step into his shoes when necessary or can come off the bench. Fresh legs when the opposition are tiring and the team need a goal or the Frenchman is not firing on all cylinders.
Hernandez at United
Opportunities have not developed as much for him at United in the past couple of seasons, but I believe that Chicharito fits that bill perfectly.
When he first came on the Premier League scene, he established himself as a brilliant impact player and he scored some very important goals on their way to clinching the title. The Mexican has got a low centre of gravity and possesses very quick movement in and around his markers, and is very good at getting in the right place for tap-ins at the right time.
He has slipped down the pecking order at Old Trafford though, with Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck been preferred by David Moyes during last season. And he has only played the first 45 minutes of this season in the home defeat to Swansea City, as well as the humiliating Capital One Cup defeat at Milton Keynes Dons.
The move to Madrid offers him a new challenge and lease of life and he hopes to follow in the footsteps of iconic fellow countryman Hugo Sanchez. It has been proven that if you give him plenty of chances, he will score goals and offer a very good outlet from the bench for Carlo Ancelotti.