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Rumour Mongering: Liverpool Track Former Rival Striker

The Reds may be looking to former Man Utd striker Javier Hernandez to help with their goal drought.

I'd take him for the facial expressions alone
I'd take him for the facial expressions alone
Alex Grimm/Getty Images

There is plenty of debate about the exact origin of Liverpool's current struggles. Some blame the injuries, which is completely fair, but carries with it more questions about who to blame for our players falling apart. Others bemoan the overall lack of quality in the squad, claiming that the players aren't actually any better than their league position indicates. The transfer committee have caught some heat for not being able to get the right players in. Brendan Rodgers for not putting together a balanced squad. The youth of the squad. The lack of left-footers. Set piece coaching. John Fowlerdamn Achterberg!

Then there are those of us who think Liverpool just need to find some goals. With the club's two top scorers - a big-money striker struggling to get playing time under the new manager, and a big money attacking midfielder temping as a lone striker - having scored 6 and 5 goals respectively, Liverpool sit ninth in the goal scoring table. Three of the Reds' four senior strikers are out  for a couple more weeks, out for the season, and out for (probably) eternity. For a side with CL ambitions, this is troubling.

Good job, then, that the club has reportedly identified a solution. According to Rory Smith of The Times, former Manchester United striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez is likely to be subject of a bid in the summer, and possibly before the transfer window closes on Monday night, although the latter is less likely. Leverkusen are believed to be asking for around £20m for the Mexican poacher, which would just about triple the German club's investment in the player this past summer.

£20m may initially sound rich, but in this post TV-money world, where 50m is a sum that gets thrown around daily, it really isn't, especially when the player in question is one of the best pure goalscorers in European football. Since 2010, no player has a higher conversion rate than The Little Pea (21.1%) and only 5 players score non-penalty goals with a higher frequency (one every 136 minutes). There were suggestions his per-90 numbers were inflated by his super-sub status, but that idea has been dismissed by his performances as a starter this year, with 19 goals in all competitions, one every 96 minutes, and a conversion rate of 23.8%.

In Roger Schmidt's high pressing system, he also completes a tackle roughly three times as often as Liverpool's sole remaining striker, so fit and defensive work rate shouldn't be an issue either.

He has weaknesses, of course, most notably that he is not a playmaker and will spend most of his time angling for position in the box to finish moves off, rather than setting up others. He's also quite short, which could be problematic for a team that is already one of the shortest in the league and that struggles with set pieces on both ends of the field. Also, he used to play for Man Utd, so watch out for the #narrative there.

Overall though, while he might not be the hottest name, that's how it's always been, really, as Hernandez is notoriously underrated when compared to his production, and he brings the one thing this team so desperately needs; a goal guarantee.

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