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Bayer Leverkusen

Chicharito no longer a super sub after scoring 38% of Bayer’s goals

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Down two-nil in Saturday’s top of the table clash, Bayer Leverkusen made a remarkable second half comeback to solidify their place in the Bundesliga’s top three.

Bayer’s six minute goal blitzkrieg was capped off by Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez in the 60th minute. The Mexican international’s go-ahead goal came during Bayer’s brilliant counter attack, as Chicharito scored from an acute angle. His game winning goal has now put distance between the club and the chasing pack; with five points between them and Hertha Berlin.

In form

Saturday’s performance was just another in a long line of brilliant Chicharito matches in 2015/16. With 17 goals in 26 league matches – he scored an additional five in the Champions League – for Bayer, Chicharito currently sits fourth in Bundesliga scoring.

According to WhoScored.com, the striker has contributed 38% of the team’s 45 goals. Free from injury and used mostly as a starter, Chicharito’s single season goal production has been the best of his career.

Bayer was on the back foot for much of the time against Shalke and were outclassed for the opening hour of the match. The striker was kept under wraps for once, but Chicharito was able to score from his only shot on Saturday.

While he was unable to get free of his marker for much of the 90 minutes, he did collect an 80% pass success rate, per WhoScored.com. The striker completed 16 of 20 passes as Bayer’s only striker in coach Roger Schmidt’s 4-2-3-1 formation.

Manchester United’s regret

Despite being an important member of Sir Alex Ferguson’s United team and tallying 33 English Premier League goals, Chicharito saw his importance fall when the Scotsman retired.

Deemed as surplus to requirements under Louis Van Gaal, the striker was sent on loan to Real Madrid in the summer of 2014. There Chicharito notched eight goals and four assists, appearing mostly in substitute appearances. Remarkably, those eight goals and four assists came in a mere 1,179 minutes of action across La Liga and the Champions League. That calculates to just over 13 full matches.

Although successful at Madrid, Chicharito signed a permanent deal with Bayer on August 31, 2015. Signed for £7.3 million ($10.5m), Chicharito has shown he is not just a super-sub.

SEE MORE: Schedule of Bundesliga games on US TV and live streaming

In late-2015, former Chicharito teammate Rio Ferdinand questioned Van Gaal’s decision making in regards to the Mexican.

“He guaranteed you goals, even when he was rotated between being a starter and a substitute,” Ferdinand told the Mirror. “But Van Gaal didn’t seem to know how to get the best out of him or wasn’t prepared to adapt to the little man’s way of playing.”

Now a staple at the BayArena, Chicharito has become a big hit with supporters. Bayer have now won five games on the trot, and don’t look likely to end that run as long as Chicharito is banging in the goals.

Drew Farmer’s debut book Soccer Travels is out now NFR Publishing. Go to Amazon to pick up a copy in paperback or on Kindle.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Joe schmoe

    July 16, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    Probably one of the most under appreciated players in Europe. Chicharito isnot a dribler but he can do it if need be. We have seen more skill out of him while playing in the Bundessliga. The goal of the Sport is not to have just one guy doing all the work and scoring, the purpose of the game is to have the team play together, create the opportunities and have the hability to finish plays with a scoring goal. Chicharito is inspiring and exciting, I would take him over Iguain or Benzema any day. He is more like Raul when he played for Real Madrid, a total threat and finisher. He does not get paid to be fancy or humiliate the other team with his dribbling skills, he gets paid to score and he does! Are there any other players out there doing the same? No the the quantity, speed, and heart of .Chicharito. There are many people in Mexico that hate him because he is not a drug user, alcoholic, lousy human being like Cuahutemovc Blanco, but that’s just the uneducated trash that will never get off the ground. Chicharito appeals to those who want to better themselves, and reach for the stars!

  2. Juan

    May 17, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    His not the best player or the best dribbler but he gets his part of the job done his a strike not a mid fielder or a winger his job is to finish the play by puting into the net any way he can…..!
    That is why he saved man u so many times from losing to a win or tie.
    At real Madrid he kept them alive in the fight a couple of games when benzema was injured and cr7 couldnt find the net.
    Sir alex knew how to use him having the team send him centers or thru passes.

    I dont know why real did not keep him but thats that.

  3. Jeru

    April 26, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    The man just scores! Help no help he’s a thorn in the rear for defenseman. He will create opportunities for his teammates on mere presence alone. Glad that he’s being appreciated on a team that knows his worth!

  4. Ambrozinne

    April 26, 2016 at 5:20 am

    Best finished when comes to win game s remember when he was play for mau and real Madrid did know soccer ????? Of course no

  5. TexcocodeMora

    April 24, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    I do think Chicharito is a good player, is only that Manchester United didn’t help him at all.

    • TEXCOCO KING

      April 26, 2016 at 5:06 am

      Hi, you don’t Think the future, highest scoring Mexican National Team player EVER is good?? How about the second most successful Mexican striker Ever in the History of European soccer. You don’t Think he’s a good player Either? Well guess what, they are both the same guy: Chicharito!!!!!

      • TEXCOCO KING WHO

        April 27, 2016 at 4:53 am

        He said “I do think” and not “I don’t think” — if you read well.

  6. Demetrio

    April 24, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    He never was a “supersub” that was just the line that kept him on the bench instead of scoring goals. If you look at his goals per minute in the premier league, la liga and bundesliga he’s one of the most lethal strikers in the world. has been for some time now.

    • Vic

      April 25, 2016 at 5:22 pm

      Chicharito is not a player that can create his own plays, he needs a team playing for him. But as we can see, once he found a team willing to help him shine he did not let them down. Hope he stays at least one more season with them, I would love to see what they can do once his team mates know him a little better and can pretty much guess where he will run to.

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