Before their massive encounter against Manchester United this Sunday (watch live on NBCSN at 11:10am ET, online via NBC Sports Live Extra) it seems as though Arsenal could be making a swoop for one of the oppositions players.
Mexican international striker Javier Hernandez is being targeted by Arsene Wenger’s men to help bolster the Gunners forward line in January according to reports.
Right now, Arsenal only have Frenchman Olivier Giroud as a top-class striker and the 27-year-old has started every single Premier League and Champions League match so far, leaving Wenger concerned about burnout.
Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez has seen his minutes extremely limited this season in David Moyes’ first-season in charge at Old Trafford, with many of his appearances coming off the bench. On Tuesday night against Real Sociedad in the UCL the usually clinical Chicharito missed a sitter (the ball did take a nasty bobble… but still) and with the 25-year-old seemingly wanting more minutes before Mexico’s potential World Cup campaign a January move would make sense.
Regular soccer will allow Hernandez to recover his sharpness that has been somewhat missing this season for club and country. In his nine appearances for United this term he’s scored four goals, but three of those have come in the last three games against Stoke in the league and Norwich in the League Cup. For El Tri, Chicharito has scored seven goals in 13 appearances in 2013 and if Mexico manages to squeak passed New Zealand in their World Cup playoff and make it to Brazil, you have to think Hernandez will want regular games rather than sporadic minutes off the bench.
As they say, the grass isn’t always greener, but Hernandez is needed by Arsenal for extra attacking options and he will likely get a lot of games under his belt for a side that is challenging for the PL title and the Champions League. That’s not a bad option to have. But his hero status at United as a super-sub is undisputed and it’s been that way ever since he joined in 2010. He’s started 43 games in the PL and made 38 appearances off the bench. In that time Hernandez has banged in 34 league goals, at a pretty good rate of a goal every 0.41 games.
It will be extremely difficult for the predatory forward to turn his back on one of the biggest clubs in the world, but he may have to if he’s going to kick on his career in the PL and for Mexico.
Regular soccer will benefit him and I have no doubt that if Arsenal do make a stunning swoop for Chicharito in January it will be money well spent.
Will United let him leave to a direct competitor though?