Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez has found himself back at the centre of transfer speculation during the last few days, with the Mexican international's future at Old Trafford appearing somewhat uncertain following a disappointing 2013/14 Premier League campaign.
Indeed, if certain reports are to be believed, the club's long-running hopes of completing a deal to sign £30 million-rated Southampton full-back Luke Shaw could rest on Hernandez, with it suggested strongly that the Saints are interested in receiving him in exchange for their 18-year-old prodigy.
Although a notably charismatic and overwhelmingly popular figure within the club, it is difficult to escape the notion that Hernandez's influence at Manchester United has reduced dramatically during recent months.
Having notched just four goals in the Premier League last season, it is clear that the 26-year-old can perhaps no longer be as heavily relied upon to make a significant impact and provide a constant source of goals from the substitute's bench.
With Louis van Gaal known to be a strong admirer of Netherlands international captain Robin van Persie, it seems incredibly unlikely that Hernandez will be able to successfully force his way into the starting XI when the experienced Dutchman finally takes the reins at Old Trafford in time for the 2014/15 campaign.
If it helps Manchester United to finally wrap up the long and slightly tiresome saga involving Shaw, then I see no real issue with the club offering the services of Hernandez in exchange. To put it simply, United would be gaining far more than they would be losing in such a deal.
Although Patrice Evra recently signed a new one-year contract extension to ensure that Van Gaal won't be left totally bereft of competent left-sided defenders in the event that Shaw does not complete his move, the England international is a simply phenomenal young talent who has the potential to become a stalwart of the side for the next decade.
He simply has not looked fazed during his relatively short time in the Premier League to date and would already provide a significant upgrade on the experienced Frenchman who has undeniably regressed over recent years.
With Manchester United fans still understandably reeling from what was a truly disastrous period by the club's usual lofty standards last term, it is important and understandable that Van Gaal - a rather strict and resoulte character who obviously maintains a strong belief in his own convictions - will probably keen to make an instant impact in the transfer market.
While engineering the loss of a likeable figure such as Hernandez ahead of other less popular and less tolerable players would ordinarily be foolish move for a man in Van Gaal's position, in this instance it makes perfect sense.
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