Mexican star striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez is coming off a thrilling season as “the man” at Bayer Leverkusen, and thinks he would’ve hit the same heights at his previous clubs if given the chance.
Hernandez, 28, was outstanding in his first season at Bayer, scoring 26 goals in 40 matches. Five came in European competition and 17 in the league, as he played his most matches since his debut season at Manchester United (2010-11).
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The 26 goals are his most ever in a season, the 17 in league his most since arriving in Europe from Guadalajara. As Mexico prepares for what could be a historic run in the Copa America Centenario, Hernandez is as confident as ever.
“Ask the United fans. The numbers are there. I started only 85 games at United and I scored 60 goals [in total]. At Real, I started just 12 games and scored nine goals. At Leverkusen I’ve started 37 games and I have 26 goals. The difference is that Leverkusen want me on the pitch. The others didn’t.”
Hernandez said that if he had more chances at Real or United, he would “probably have been ‘the star’ there as well”. He had a very poor 2013-14 season at Old Trafford in terms of production, but had scored 10 or more goals in each of his first three Premier League seasons.
Sour grapes? Sure, he’s a competitor. And while Real Madrid did fine without him this season, United could’ve used a striker early in the season. That said, if he would’ve stuck around we would’ve likely not seen the emergence of Marcus Rashford (yet).
All’s well that ends well.