Hernandez: United and Real didn’t give me the chance to be ‘the star’

Bayer Leverkusen hot shot Javier Hernandez has told FourFourTwo that former clubs Manchester United and Real Madrid should have shown more faith in him.

Mexico international ‘Chicharito’ is preparing for this summer’s Copa America Centenario having hit 26 goals for the German outfit; his form earning him three successive Bundesliga Player of the Month awards from November to January.

The 28-year-old became known as a super-sub during his five-year career at Old Trafford, where he scored 37 league goals but made more appearances from the bench (54) than he did as part of the Red Devils’ starting XI (49).

And little changed during a season-long loan spell at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2014/15, where 23 La Liga outings - 16 as a substitute - produced seven goals.

It’s been a different story for Hernandez at Leverkusen, however. ‘Little Pea’ started in 25 of his 28 league appearances in 2015/16, with his 17 strikes bettered only by Thomas Muller, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Robert Lewandowski.

Speaking exclusively in the July 2016 issue of FourFourTwo magazine, Hernandez believes that sort of form could have been replicated had he been played from the start more often by Sir Alex Ferguson, David Moyes and Carlo Ancelotti.

If I’d had more chances at United or Real, I’d probably have been ‘the star’ there as well – we’ll never know. I didn’t have the chance. I never had the chance to play 20 games in a row so people could say: ‘He’s a good player who should stay’

“We all know the history of United and Real – European Cups, fighting for everything – but now I’m with the third-best team in the Bundesliga,” he says.

“If I’d had more chances at United or Real, I’d probably have been ‘the star’ there as well – we’ll never know. I didn’t have the chance. I never had the chance to play 20 games in a row so people could say: ‘He’s a good player who should stay’ or ‘He can’t be the star – he’s not a good player’.

“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.”

Read the full interview with Javier Hernandez in the July 2016 issue of FourFourTwo magazine, which also features an exclusive chat with former Milan, Chelsea and Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti, focuses on the potential headline-makers at Euro 2016 and previews the upcoming Copa America Centenario. Also this month: the league where every match takes place in one stadium, the kick that killed a football career and the views of Leicester City fans following an unforgettable Premier League season for the Foxes. Go get it, then subscribe!