Javier Hernandez: Moving To Atletico Madrid Makes Sense

'Chicharito' Hernandez on his way to Atletico Madrid

Photo Courtesy of the Official Seleccion Nacional de Mexico Facebook Page

Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez went into the 2014 World Cup looking to vanish the bad taste which he had from a very disappointing 2013-14 season with Manchester United. Although he played in all four games for Mexico during the past World Cup, all his appearances were as a substitute and despite scoring in the game against Croatia, ‘Chicharito’ failed to leave a major imprint with his play during the tournament. This capped off the season of disappointment and left ‘Chicharito’ wondering about his future with Manchester United, especially now that Louis Van Gaal coming in as manager.

On Thursday as reported by several Spanish media outlets, primarily those on ESPN Deportes Radio, have reported that ‘Chicharito’ is on the verge of joining La Liga champions Atletico Madrid on a two-year contract. If this move is to come to fruition, which it looks like all that remains is dotting a few i’s and crossing some t’s, this is a move that makes alot of sense for ‘Chicharito’. The biggest issue of frustration for ‘Chicharito’ was the fact that he did not get the chance to play significant minutes for Manchester United, especially later in the season when there was nothing left to play for. As a result of this frustration, ‘Chicharito’ would play in a manner which saw him play like his hair was on fire. While it was something admirable, it was clear that it prevented him from playing smartly when he did get his chance to play. It became a Catch-22 situation.

By moving to Atletico Madrid, ‘Chicharito’ will benefit on several levels. First and foremost, he will benefit because he will be getting regular playing time with a team who will be playing Champions League this upcoming season. Given that newcomer Mario Mandzukic is the only striker of not on the squad, ‘Chicharito’ will not have to worry about having to fight several others for the chance to get to play upfront. If he were or is to stay with Manchester United, the argument can be made that at best ‘Chicharito’ would be the fourth choice striker. It also doesn’t help that Van Gaal is not fond of playing with strikers who are penalty area poachers, something that characterizes ‘Chicharito’ as a striker. For a player who is 26 and has had a very good career in Europe to date, 59 goals in 152 games with Manchester United and one of the best goals per minute rate shows he’s a player with the right team, is still a very productive player for a top of the table team in one of Europe’s top leagues.

A second reason that a move to Atletico Madrid makes sense for ‘Chicharito’ is the fact he would be going to a team coached by Diego Simeone. ‘El Cholo’ is a coach who coaches with a certain amount of intensity which is magnified by the 11 players who are on the field for Atletico during a game. One of the things that Simeone was lauded for was how we was able to get his team to feel the loss of Radamel Falcao as he helped Diego Costa harness his passion into being the top goalscorer in La Liga last season. With that in mind, Simeone will be able to turn the rage and intensity ‘Chicharito’ has been playing with as of late into something that can be harnessed for good and in turn help ‘Chicharito’ regain his confidence.

It is clear that last season with Manchester United, ‘Chicharito’ was devalued and not appreciated by David Moyes in what ended up being the season of hell. It is also clear that despite statements from Van Gaal that he wants to see what he can do, ‘Chicharito’ does not figure into the plans for Van Gaal at Manchester United. Therefore a move to Atletico Madrid would do a world of good for ‘Chicharito’ and still see him play for a top of the table club in one of Europe’s top leagues. It’s a move that makes much sense.

Lucas Carreras is a contributing Mexican National Team and Liga MX writer for Stoppage Time Soccer. You can follow Lucas on Twitter by following him @maldini3fan

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