Former Real Madrid and Manchester United striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez has finished his four-year tenure with the LA Galaxy.

The Mexican star signed a three-year deal with the Galaxy in 2020 after missing most of the 2019 season with an ACL injury in his right knee. After the 2022 season, his team exercised a 2023 option on his contract.

The conclusion of the year marks the end of his contract. The MLS club said Friday that they were releasing the forward because his contract had expired. Therefore, the Galaxy have made available a 2024 roster space.

“We are grateful to Javier for his dedication and contributions to the LA Galaxy,” LA Galaxy head coach and sporting director Greg Vanney said in a statement. “In four seasons with the Galaxy, Javier was a passionate leader for our club on and off the field. We wish him all the best moving forward.”

Chicharito also wrote a touching farewell on Instagram, where he said, “Life becomes exciting when you allow yourself to change and evolve to new challenges. Thanks to everyone who was involved in my journey these four years.”

How did Javier Hernandez fare with the LA Galaxy?

After announcing earlier that winger Douglas Costa will not be returning in 2024, LA now have two available Designated Player slots with the departure of the 35-year-old. Their star midfielder Riqui Puig is the only DP they have left following a disappointing 13th-place finish in the Western Conference and a subsequent absence from the MLS Cup Playoffs.

The 35-year-old had a rough 2023, scoring only once in 12 games in all competitions before suffering an injury in the summer. His last game for Galaxy was on June 7 against Real Salt Lake in the quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. His right knee’s ACL was then torn and he had to have surgery.

Life in Major League Soccer was mixed for Chicharito
Life in Major League Soccer was mixed for Chicharito

Life in Major League Soccer was mixed for Chicharito

The forward’s time with the Los Angeles Galaxy was fraught with highs and lows. He was tasked with replacing Zlatan Ibrahimovic. However, he will always regret leaving without an MLS Cup.

From 2020 to 2023, he started 71 of 82 games for the Galaxy. He finished with 39 goals and six assists. With 38 goals in 74 games played for the club, he is sixth all-time.

The Former Mexico international played in Europe for 11 years before joining the MLS. He spent time with Manchester United, Real Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, West Ham, and Sevilla. At Old Trafford, he won two Premier League championships, and with Sevilla in 2020, he won the UEFA Europa League.

Before retiring from international play in 2019, Hernandez earned 109 caps for Mexico’s national team. He became the country’s all-time top scorer with 52 goals.

What next for Chicharito?

Chicharito did not specify where he would be going next. In the next January transfer window, he will be available to sign with any team he wants.

Fox Sports’ Fernando Cevallos had earlier informed the player that he would be welcome back at Chivas. The Mexican club was where he made his professional debut. There are also rumors linking him to the Monterrey club Rayados de Monterrey.

Photo credits: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire : IMAGO / ZUMA Wire