World Soccer Talk

Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez leaves Manchester United for Bayer Leverkusen

Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez has signed a three-year deal with Bayer Leverkusen, the Bundesliga club announced today, ending the Mexico international’s five-year run at Manchester United. Initially report have Bayer paying a£8.75 million transfer fee for the 27-year-old star.

The arrival of Hernandez will add needed depth to a Leverkusen striker corps that was dependent on 31-year-old Stefan Kiessling, with whom Chicharito will compete for playing time. Both strikers will benefit from a talented midfield that includes Karim Bellarbi, Hakan Calhanoglu and Christoph Kramer.

Hernandez’s United career found instant fame after his transfer from Chivas Guadalajara five years ago, scoring 20 times in 45 appearances in 2010-11. Despite scoring 30 more all-competition goals over the next two seasons, Hernandez’s prospects in Manchester quickly dimmed, with a nine-goal season in 2013-14 followed with a season-long loan to Real Madrid.

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There, after another nine-goal season, Hernandez returned to United, where he struggled for playing time after Wayne Rooney was moved into manager Louis van Gaal’s striker’s role. Though Hernandez has made three substitutes appearances this season, van Gaal has been reported to prefer other options, with Belgian Marouane Fellaini’s return from suspension making Chicharito expendable.