Javier Hernandez will return to Old Trafford this weekend for the first time since leaving Manchester United in 2015. Now a West Ham player, following a £16 million transfer from Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen, ‘Chicharito’ is sure to get a good reception from United fans on Sunday.
The Mexican striker is however undecided over whether he would celebrate if his first West Ham goal comes at Old Trafford this weekend. He said;
“I don’t know if I will celebrate if I score at Old Trafford. It’s my old club, my old fans, my old stadium but it’ll be my first goal for West Ham. I am not thinking about the celebration, I just want to have the chance to start and get my team the result.”
Despite being in two minds over whether he would celebrate scoring a goal against his old team, Hernandez feels it is fitting that his first appearance for West Ham will come at Old Trafford.
“I am very happy and glad, it’s the best way to come back and open at Old Trafford.”
Mexico’s record goal scorer is determined to enjoy another spell in the Premier League, hoping to add to the 37 league goals he scored for Manchester United in England.
“I am a Hammer, a West Ham player, I want to do even better than I did in Manchester.”
Although Hernandez won two Premier League titles with Manchester United, he is adamant that he does not regret leaving the club.
“I never have regretted leaving Manchester United. I had some great experiences there and it helped me when I did move on. I never have regrets in my life. Good things are not as good as we think and those experiences are something that you learn from and give you things to look forward to in the future.”
While playing for the Reds under Sir Alex Ferguson, ‘Chicharito’ scored 59 goals in 158 appearances, an impressive return considering many of those appearances came off the bench. Perhaps Hernandez’s best season came in his very first year in England, the 2010/11 campaign. The Mexican helped United both win the Premier League and reach the Champions League Final at Wembley. First, Chicharito scored on his debut in the Community Shield against Chelsea. While he also scored a vital goal to virtually clinch the title against Chelsea again after just 36 seconds in May 2011. His 2010/11 performances earned him the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award, voted for by the fans.
Hernandez scored a brace on three separate occasions for the Reds, against Wigan Athletic, Stoke City, and Aston Villa, all away from home. One of the two goals he scored against Stoke was memorable for being a backward header that epitomised his goal scoring instincts. While against Aston Villa, Chicharito led a famous second half United comeback, scoring twice and causing an own goal to rescue the three points from 2-0 down.
Under David Moyes, Hernandez only made six Premier League starts, coming on as a substitute on 18 occasions, during a difficult season for the Mexican. While Louis van Gaal was even less keen on Chicharito, sending him out on loan to Real Madrid, where the Mexican won the Club World Cup, before selling him onto Leverkusen in August 2015.
A manager that does hold Hernandez in high regard, however, is current United boss Jose Mourinho, who confirmed in an interview with Gary Lineker that he would never have sold the Mexican if he was the manager in 2015. Despite reiterating that his “mind is completely at West Ham,” Hernandez did acknowledge the kind words Jose Mourinho had to say about him. Chicharito said, “I do appreciate the words he has said in the past months but right now I am a Hammer.”
While Louis van Gaal and David Moyes were not so keen on Hernandez, Jose Mourinho is clearly a big fan of the Mexican striker and will be wary of his threat and goal scoring instincts when Manchester United face West Ham this weekend.