Real Madrid declines purchase option on Chicharito, who heads back to Manchester United

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Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez is, presumably, back on the market.

Mexico’s tidy poacher, he of the 9 goals in 33 appearances for Real Madrid this season, will not see his loan become a full-time thing.

Whether Hernandez wanted that is another story, especially after struggling to find playing time in Real’s star-studded lineup. He admitted frustration, even depression, in the Spring.

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He has one more year on his deal at Old Trafford, but has been tipped for moves to Southampton and even to Major League Soccer’s Orlando City, where he could team with Kaka and young gun Cyle Larin.

Hernandez has been a useful striker since leaving Guadalajara for United in 2010, but his production fell off under David Moyes last season. After scoring 20, 12 and 18 goals in his first three years in Manchester, he scored just nine goals under Moyes. Only four came in Premier League play.

Chicharito’s career will make an interesting case study when all’s said and done. Has he sacrificed anything by going to gigantic clubs? Is he reaching his potential?¬†Would he have become a prolific goal scorer as the main guy at a ‘smaller’ club? All interesting questions for the 26-year-old, who still has plenty of soccer to play.