Reports in The Sun today link Javier Hernandez with a £15 million move to Southampton. It is believed new Saints boss Ronald Koeman contacted compatriot Louis van Gaal this week as to the availability of the Mexican striker, with a view to signing the 26-year-old.
When asked about Hernandez, Koeman replied “We are close to making two or three signings and are always in the market for good players,” and it is common knowledge Southampton have a massive rebuilding project underway following the sale of various key players this summer. Hernandez is believed to be keen to move away from Old Trafford following a lack of first team minutes, and is currently being courted by Spanish champions Atlético Madrid, leaving Southampton with a big case to put forward.
It would appear this is the end of the line for Hernandez, with firm interest finally being shown in the striker for the first time since he revealed his desire to exit Old Trafford last season. Of course it is sad that he is seemingly departing, but it has been written on the wall for some time now. A barnstorming first season in Manchester promised much, Hernandez took the Premier League by storm and scored 20 goals (the first player since Ruud van Nistelrooy to do so in a debut season) in 45 games as United went on to lift the League title and appear in the Champions League final. However, since then things have gone downhill for the Mexican.
Known for his knack of playing on the shoulder of the defenders, he proved incredibly hard to deal with in that debut season, but in the final against Barcelona, his style was combated as the Spaniards played a high defensive line, nulling his threat. Premier League sides soon found him out, and started to employ similar tactics to Barcelona, leaving Hernandez unable to find new ways to threaten. Hernandez failed to adapt, and scored just 12 goals the season after. 18 in 36 games during our Championship winning 12/13 campaign quelled doubts over him for the time being, and showed there might be life in the old dog yet. But a difficult and disappointing last season, where first team opportunities were limited (well according to Hernandez, he actually only played one game less than the two previous terms) yielded just nine goals, and a string of poor performances and glaring misses.
Hernandez has bemoaned David Moyes for his downfall, though you have to look at his performances since that opening season, and if you do you will see a decline in quality for certain. Last season sticks out more than those previous due to it being the most recent, and one can think of 2 or 3 big chances he missed to score, chances even I would be embarrassed about missing. It will be sad to see him leave because he promised so much, and the joy in his face when he scores is unrivalled by anything anywhere in existence, but it is most certainly the right time to sell, especially if we can get £15 million for his services and use the gap in the squad to utilise James Wilson more often. He has been a fine servant, and it’s been a joy to have, but every dog has his day, and his day has now gone.