On this transfer deadline day, Manchester United made the unsurprising move of loaning out Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, and the surprising move of loaning in Radamel Falcao, with the former headed off to Real Madrid and the latter coming in from Monaco.
It had long been speculated that Hernandez was in his last days with the Reds, with transfer rumors having persisted dating back to even last summer. Known mostly for his ability as a “super-sub,” leading the Premiership over the last five years with 14 goals coming off the bench.
A fan favorite especially in North America, the energetic Mexican is renowned for his ability to instantly impact the game the second he steps on.
At Madrid, his primary job will be backup to the French striker Karim Benzema, who is coming off a beautiful season of his own. Additionally, Chicharito should expect to face competition from the young Spaniard Jese Rodriguez, who impressed many with his form last season.
From United’s perspective, the move can be a bit difficult to understand at the surface. Why shell out nearly nine million Euros (roughly $12 million,) for a striker coming from a serious ACL injury when you already have two world-class strikers in Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney?
Digging deeper, though, the move begins to make a bit more sense. Outside of those top two strikers, Danny Welbeck is the only other frontman with any semblance of real experience at the top flight of English soccer, and it is beginning to look much more likely that he will be leaving Old Trafford.
On this note, Arsenal have been floated around as a potential landing spot, with their crosstown rivals, Tottenham, also vaguely mentioned as a destination.
Going back to Falcao, he would have generated that much more hype for himself had he been able to join his Colombian compatriots for this year’s World Cup, but in the short time he played for Monaco last season, his form was staggering. Surrounded by the likes of James Rodriguez and Joao Moutinho, Falcao’s season held promise until that disappointing injury.
With Juan Mata, Angel Di Maria, and the rest of Manchester’s supporting cast, should he stay healthy, Falcao could help to steady this once storied ship. While the day is still young, one has to wonder why United didn’t pursue a defender.
In Louis Van Gaal’s projected 3-5-2 system, the back line of Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo, and an assortment of younger players has looked to be rather shaky in this young season.
Regardless, this swap of sorts looks to have a certain degree of risk, between Hernandez’ popularity and Falcao’s knee, but should it pay off United have added a lethal striker to their floundering offensive attack.
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