Posted on Saturday, 31st July 2010 by Chudi
Javier Hernandez rise has been meteoric to say the least. Having been signed by United in April, the young Mexican striker would go on to shine at the World Cup scoring against both France and Argentina.
His exploits in South Africa saw anticipation for his United debut rise even further. Scheduled to make his bow in the red of United in a friendly against Chivas, something that was part of the deal when we initially signed him, the date was brought forward and he was pencilled in to make a cameo against the MLS All-stars.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the anticipation for his debut was quite remarkable and of all our recent signing nothing can compare. The last time I saw such feverent expectancy was probably Wayne Rooney in 2004 and upon entering the field Hernandez did his best to show why.
The striker saw an early effort saved after meeting a Tom Cleverley cross but he wouldn’t need to be asked again after beating the offside trap to race clear of the All-stars’ backline and neatly lobbing the keeper. A star was born.
The buzz surrounding him is now at an all time high. Last season, after Wayne Rooney picked up that unfortunate ankle injury against Bayern Munich, our title race went pear shaped and many blamed Dimitar Berbatov for his inability to lead the front line. Now many believe we have that striker that can effectively operate in case of Rooney’s absence.
He has been likened to a young Michael Owen, the legendary Mexican striker Hugo Sanchez and the latest is Wayne Rooney himself by Sir Alex Ferguson. Loft praise for the flavour of the season but are we putting too much expectation on his young shoulders?
Hernandez is just 22 and is making a massive step up from playing in the Mexican league to arguably one of the best leagues in the world, the Premiership. He will be tried out against the finest Europe has to offer in the Champions League and I fear that if he does not hit the ground running as many are touting him to it could get ugly.
The media and fans too can be quite fickle (case in point being Nani, how many of us felt that he wasn’t good enough even though he was nowhere near his peak years?) it’s in our nature. We will as soon turn on a player as praise him and with all the praise heaped on Hernandez already expectations will be huge.
Hernandez looks an exceptional find and from what I’ve seen of him he deserves of a lot the praise he has received. His movement and pace will torment many a defender in the league but I feel we should slow down on the superlatives. We should give him a chance to develop without the weight of expectation on his shoulders as well as not place so much faith in him. I think he will be a very good player for us but only if we allow him to do so and let him develop rather than rush him.