Published on June 23rd, 2017 | by David Kraakman0
Why Abel Hernández needs sizzling season after EPL slump
The goals of Abel Hernández dried up in the Premier League for Hull City to help send the side down. The striker is running out of time to prove himself
After guiding Hull City to the Premier League a year ago, Uruguayan forward Abel Hernández is back in the Championship, having experienced a disappointing season in front of goal. Injuries didn’t help the forward but four goals in sixteen starts in the Premier League is simply not good enough and Hernández’ lack of production contributed to Hull’s relegation.
Hernández joined Hull City in the summer of 2014 for a club record fee of £10 million after featuring for Uruguay in the World Cup in Brazil. Hull was his second team in Europe, having played for Palermo the previous five seasons. In Uruguay, Hernández debuted in professional football for Central Español before making a name for himself as a quick and prolific No9 at Peñarol.
At Hull, Hernández didn’t show much of his predator instincts in a very modest debut season before coming to life in his second season.
In the 2015/16 Championship campaign, Hernández showcased his abilities as a true goalscorer, being the club’s top scorer with 21 league goals. In the Premier League, however, the Uruguay international was unable to prove himself.
To say he’s not good enough for the English top flight might be a bit too early, though, as the striker has often been benched and plagued by injuries in his time playing in the Premier League. And as things stand, we will have to wait another year at least to make a final judgment on Hernández’ capabilities as a Premier League player.
In the meanwhile, there has been talk of a move away from the KCOM Stadium with China as one of the possible destinations. The money on show in Asia makes it an extremely tempting place to play but as a fan of Uruguayan football, I hope Abel chooses his next club for sporting and not financial reasons.
Because despite his below average last season, Hernández is still a player in the sights of many European clubs including some Premier League sides and his former team Palermo. To stay at Hull and play in the Championship is an option that will be considered. However, if a Premier League club comes calling, La Joya will most probably be on the move.
What should Hernández do?
With the World Cup just one year away, something I would always recommend is to make sure to find a club that can guarantee playing time. In that case, Hull City is a good option but it would be even better if Hernández could find a top-flight club that can guarantee him a starting place.
A move back to Italy might do his career good. Because let’s not forget, at 26, Hernández is yet to enter his prime and in the familiar surroundings of Italy, he could put together a campaign wherein he finally reaches his full potential.
Hernández has all the qualities to be a great striker – pace, power and a great left foot – now is the time to show it week-in-week-out.