In the pre-match press conference before Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Sunderland, Louis van Gaal said he believed that United were not challenging for the title because:
“At this moment, we don’t have a striker who scores 20 goals.”
Now there may be a number of reasons for this. It could be because Robin van Persie has been plagued with injury problems this season, or it could be because Wayne Rooney has been prominently deployed in a midfield position. However it is more than likely because of the fact that Van Persie and Radamel Falcao have failed to create a decent partnership up front. Now the problem is that they are not bad players, we all know that is not true.
The problem is that they are too similar in the way they play. Both players seem to like coming to the ball, rather than making penetrating runs in behind, or running the channels and this creates a problem for the rest of the team. Because both players prefer coming to the ball, this allows the opposing team to squeeze the midfield areas more easily, because their defenders are not being dragged away to track our strikers. This means that there is less space on the pitch for our creative players to work in and it is easier for teams to be compact if you are not stretching them. This is the reason so many teams are frustrating us this season.
However with all the big name strikers being linked to the club in the wake of this so-called crisis, could the solution be right under our noses? I am talking about Javier Hernandez, who is affectionately known to fans as “Chicharito”. Chicharito is currently on loan at Spanish giants Real Madrid. The Reason I believe he could be the solution, is because he is willing to do what neither Van Persie nor Falcao are. And that is to make runs and stretch defences. Add on to that his ability to poach goals by being in the right place at the right time; he could form a deadly partnership if paired with either Van Persie or Falcao, or even Rooney for that matter. And even if he is not banging in the goals himself, he would greatly help the rest of the team, as he would be dragging opposition teams further up the field, allowing our creative players more space on the pitch.
Some might argue that his goal scoring record for United isn’t the best, and on paper it isn’t with 37 goals in 102 appearances for United. However you have to remember that a fair proportion of his appearances came as a sub, as he often played the super-sub role in the esque of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. And if you need reminding of his goal scoring talents, then remind yourself with this…
All in all I feel that Van Gaal made a big mistake by letting Chicharito go to Real Madrid, and if he was to return I feel that he would help add another dimension to our attacking options. Moreover his return would mean that United would not have to splash out millions for a new striker, which means that more money could be spent on other in need areas. Notably our defence, and in the end I feel that these are reasons aplenty to bring back our favourite Mexican son.
This article was written and researched by Mitchell Tennant. You can follow him on Twitter.