Manero

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

By: Alfonso Duro

Javier “Chicharito” Hernández arrived at Real Madrid by surprise at the end of the summer, and many dismissed the rumors as a hoax. But Florentino Pérez was keen on getting the Mexican star on his roster for a plethora of reasons, and so Carlo Ancelotti gave in and tried to get Chicharito into his rotation.

Four months later, the former Red Devil’s numbers speak for themselves. He is the Merengue with the best goal-to-minutes-played ratio, but that’s mostly because he hasn’t been playing much. The Mexican now faces a crucial dilemma: to leave or not to leave, that is the question.

SHOULD HE STAY?

There are a number of reasons that should make Javier Hernández stay at Real Madrid. For one, he himself was very blatant about voicing his joy to be on a team of Real’s caliber. He is the first Mexican to sign for the Whites since Hugo Sánchez, and that’s a responsibility in itself.

While Chicharito hasn’t made a huge splash in Madrid thus far, he has scored four goals in the very limited playing time he has enjoyed, and he has also acclimated quite well to the squad, becoming one of the most loved players in the locker room.

The Mexican striker enjoyed an average of 35 games per season at Manchester United, and with a third of his first season in Spain gone, he has suited up in 12 matches already. That stays in line with his role at Old Trafford, regardless of the fact that his actual competitive-time minutes may have decreased a bit with the Merengues. But the season is long, Ancelotti doesn’t have any other striker aside from Benzema in the squad, and Hernández will definitely get his shot at glory.

There’s no real reason for him to throw down the towel—at least not yet.

SHOULD HE GO?

On the other hand, Javier Hernández is a 26-year-old striker who has spent the better part of his early 20s as a backup at Manchester United, and understandably, he wants to play. In that case, competing with Bale, Benzema and Ronaldo may not be the best idea. Carlo Ancelotti has told the press that Hernández understands his role on the team, but the striker is clearly not happy and needs to be sure he’ll get a starting role wherever he ends up next year.

Teams like Tottenham and Liverpool—going through tough times with their star forwards, Soldado and Balotelli—are keen on inking the Mexican for the long haul, and Chicharito would find in those clubs the playing time he deserves at the highest level possible.

OUR TAKE

Chicharito Hernández is a great striker, there’s no doubt about that, but perhaps he is not the type of talent teams like Manchester United, Real Madrid or FC Barcelona are looking for.

He is a man who ensures a good amount of goals scored each season, but he is more of a finisher than a full-blown attacker. Barça and Real Madrid, for example, both boast an attacking line with players who could play upfield as well as backtrack a bit and become the teams’ playmakers. Chicharito lacks a lot in that aspect, and at Real Madrid this is an issue. Adebayor, Higuaín or Morata have done consistently better than the Mexican in the past, in terms of scoring, but their inability to associate with the wingers and midfielders of the team has cost them dearly.

As such, the Mexican should find a team where his skills are in high demand. Atlético Madrid, Valencia, Monaco, Borussia Dortmund or the aforementioned Liverpool and Tottenham, are clubs who would kill for a goal scorer of the Mexican’s range and stature, and so he should stay put and enjoy the rest of his year in Madrid, and then pray for a summer move to one of these teams, where he can become the idol of the team thanks to his goals.

LOGISTICS: Follow Chicharito’s movements via Twitter

Alfonso Duro is a Spanish freelance writer. When he's not managing Google's agency in the United Arab Emirates (his current job), chances are he's watching and writing about soccer.