Pitchside Europe

Does Hernandez have what it takes to replace Rooney?

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Wayne Rooney's departure from Manchester United appears to be assured regardless of whether Stamford Bridge is his destination or not.

Reports of the United striker feeling "angry and confused" following David Moyes's comments that Rooney will be needed mainly if Robin van Persie picks up an injury seems to indicate his time at Old Trafford is nearing an end.

While many United fans are well, angry and confused, by Rooney's latest act of petulance, they're also pondering the question of who is going to be the back-up to Van Persie should the former Everton striker leave?

Any fee received for Rooney would no doubt fund a major signing - and maybe even make Borussia Dortmund rethink their 'Robert Lewandowski is not for sale' stance, but the real replacement may be a little closer to home.

Javier Hernandez is almost the opposite of Rooney in the eyes of some United fans. 'The Little Pea' seems more than willing to play a supporting role from the bench, regardless of how many goals he scores, and unlike his team-mate, there are never any questions regarding his attitude, fitness or lifestyle.

Hernandez is a super sub in the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer mould - or should that be Molde - who's happy to play his part for the side however he may be called upon.

The most impressive side to Hernandez's game is just how many times he gets on the scoresheet despite playing so relatively few games. Look at his stats from last season...

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Rooney's problems with United, at least his recent ones, started when the striker reportedly became unhappy with the amount of times he was being substituted towards the end of the season.

Compared to Hernandez Rooney is a mainstay of the starting line-up - yet he only managed two more goals than the Mexican, which is more a testament to 'Chicharito's'prowess rather than any profligacy on the England striker's part. After all, 12 goals in a campaign is hardly disastrous.

The one area where Rooney does justify his price tag is in terms of chances created, as the Chelsea target creates an average of almost two chances per game. It's this talent for bringing others into the game that sets Rooney apart as he often leads the line superbly and links up well with his team-mates.

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(Wayne Rooney: Chances created, 2012-13 Premier League season)

Hernandez may have to become more than just a poacher if he's to fulfill the Rooney-shaped hole that could soon be created in the United side. There's no doubting his goalscoring but the amount of chances Hernandez created last season suggests this may be one area of his game he needs to improve upon if he's to convince Moyes to sell Rooney without the need to bring someone else in.

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(Javier Hernandez: Chances created, 2012-13 Premier League season)

From Squawka.com - Team and Player football stats

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