The Daily Mail have come out all guns blazing with a story that claims we’re going to offer a shit ton of money and the gorgeous Javier Hernandez to Athletico Madrid. Quite apart from my unashamed man-crush on the little Mexican, an affection that sometimes makes me feel more than a little dirty, this deal sounds like complete madness to me.
Don’t get me wrong. Falcao is an absolutely world-class footballer. He is a 10/10. If you had a blank chequebook and were able to bring one player in his position to Old Trafford, he’d be on the short-list alongside Messi, Ibrahimovic, Aguero and Cavani. Perhaps even, dare I say it, Luis Suarez. That said, I don’t see why you’d want to bring any of these players to Old Trafford.
We have an embarrassment of riches up front. We already have two players in the absolute world-class bracket (if you extend world-class to Rooney, which is an entire other debate). We have a lively poacher who scores goals for fun in Hernandez, and a hard-working almost defensive forward in Danny Welbeck. The key is that Hernandez is the only player there that guarantees goals. Welbeck offers plenty to the team, but he’s not really getting his share of goals yet. Rooney has been known to go on lengthy droughts, and Robin van Persie is in the midst of one right now.
Any signing is a gamble. Chelsea thought they were paying £30m for guaranteed goals when they swooped for Andrei Shevchenko, but he flattered to deceive and failed to reach double figures in the league. They repeated the trick with the £50m paid for Torres. They shipped out Eidur Gudjohnsen and Hernan Crespo to make room for Shevchenko, and shipped out Danny Sturridge to make room for Torres. Reliable goalscorers replaced with expensive flops who did not adapt.
When we’ve got a player who so perfectly complements our style, who is happy and settled and without ego, who scores plenty of goals, important goals too, and isn’t a shred of trouble, why would we want to replace him with a gamble of any sort? How would we keep Rooney, Van Persie and Falcao happy at the same time? What would this mean for Welbeck or young Henriquez? I absolutely can’t see us sending Hernandez to Athletico Madrid to make room for Falcao, because that would be like trying to park a double-decker bus in a Tesco’s parking space.
If we could open up the space for Falcao, however, I’d be all ears. If we did move for the Colombian, then I wouldn’t shed a tear if we had to lose Wayne Rooney to make it happen.