It is amazing the difference week can make in the life of a footballer. Last week the consensus was that Javier Hernández’s year on loan has been nothing but disappointment and that he would be returning to Manchester United this summer.
But Chicharito followed up his match winner against Atletico in the Madrid derby on Wednesday with two goals in a 4-2 win over Celta Vigo and suddenly Little Pea is the toast of Madrid and Karim Benzema is wondering if he will get back in the team when he returns from injury.
Asked if Chicharito’s current goalscoring run might mean he would keep his place when the previously “non-negotiable” Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale returned from injury, Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti limited himself to saying he had a great squad full of players who deserved to start games.
“Chicharito is enjoying a very good moment,” he said. “If Chicharito plays like that he is like Benzema, Bale, Ronaldo, James, Isco, Ramos, Pepe, Varane … I have an non-negotiable team. But only 11 can play, so the others must be on the bench.”
The on-loan striker has now scored 8 goals for Madrid this season, and only Lionel Messi has a better goals to minutes ratio than Chicharito this season. Kinds of makes you wonder how many goals he would score if he was given a consistent run of games?
Asked by reporters after the Celta match whether his goals could help seal a permanent move to the Bernabeu this summer Chicharito responded:
“More than anything else they’ve served to give me confidence. I love playing football — it’s what makes me feel good.
“Only God knows where I will be this time next year. For moment, my only plan is to continue enjoying this moment and helping the best team in the world.
“As I have said before, I’ve been through a tough time and now it’s my turn to enjoy the moment. There’s nothing better than being out there on the pitch, I want to enjoy it and give my best for the team.
“What I have learned is that succeeding is down to me and I have to continue working hard. There will always be bad days and good days, but if you give your all then you’ll increase your chances of things turning out.”
If nothing else Chicharito has shown the footballing world that he can still be that predatory goalscorer who burst onto the scene at United in 2010-11 when he scored 20 goals as United reached the Champions League final.
The question now is what do Real Madrid and Manchester United do with the Mexican international. Real have the option to sign Chicharito for a relatively modest fee of around €10 million, while United will be in the market for a striker themselves this summer. Maybe the past week has shown Louis van Gaal that he already has the striker he needs at the club.