Javier Hernández can help alleviate Wayne Rooney’s goalscoring burden
During the World Cup, you never knew quite what to expect from Javier Hernández. The only footage I saw of him beforehand, and indeed many other fans can relate, was probably one of those compilation videos on YouTube. “He looks a natural goalscorer,” says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (he knows a thing or two about goalscorers, and he’s right, despite the lack of game time in South Africa. He started all three group games on the bench, yet dazzled with a cameo against France which not only burst his team into life, but also included a goal of his own in a deserved 2-0 victory.
Then, against Maradona’s marching men in the second round, he was the stand-out performer in a rather disappointing Mexican performance in which they lost 3-1, and it was ‘Chicarito’ who found himself on the score-sheet again, albeit in a losing cause. This was further proof of the youngster’s talent and prowess, and proved that his goal against France was no fluke. And such was the quality of the goal, it is difficult not to get too excited. “He looks really sharp,” says Darren Fletcher. “He’s young, sharp and looks really hungry. He scored a couple of great goals at the World Cup and I think he’ll be a good addition.”
And with the new season looming large, it will be interesting to see just how Hernandez adapts to the English-game. Many of United’s exports from America have come and gone, failing to hit the heights that they have managed reached elsewhere. Solskjaer, the man in charge of nurturing the club’s stars of tomorrow, also believes that United’s latest acquisition may not settle as quickly as he’d like and has, somewhat understandably, compared him with one of those ‘exports’ who failed to get to grips with the faster game: “There are not many who can handle the tempo straight away in England so he might need some time. But he has great attributes. There are similarities with Javier and Diego Forlan with both being two-footed and quick feet. Size-wise they are similar and both know where the goal is.”
And you can envisage Hernandez making a similar impact to that of Solksjaer’s, whether that’s starting or coming off the bench, something that can help alleviate United’s title charge this season. “He looks very sharp in the box,” added Solskjaer glowingly. “He is quick and can finish with both feet. I like his attitude for finding space. He makes good runs for midfielders to thread the ball through. He is direct in his running.” Such words of wisdom from a fans’ favourite and club legend is more reason to feel confident that Javier Hernandez can become the natural goalscorer that United were looking for to help ease the burden that is currently all on Wayne Rooney.