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Red-hot Chicharito on Man United exit: “I had one percent chance of playing”

Germany Soccer Bundesliga

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Bayer Leverkusen & Mexico


While Manchester United have scored just 21 goals in 16 Premier League games this season, a man they let get in the summer for $12 million has scored 17 goals in 20 games for Bayer Leverkusen.

[ MORE: Chelsea “not in relegation battle” ]

Mexican international Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez has stepped out from the shadows of Old Trafford in dramatic fashion.

Chicharito, 27, scored a hat trick in Bayer’s demolition of Borussia Monchendgladach at the weekend, taking his tally to five goals in his last three games and 15 in his last 12 as he continues to thrive in the Bundesliga after being awarded the Player of the Month award for November.

Always known as a predatory forward who could pop up and provide goals, Chicharito turned into somewhat of a super-sub at United after being bought by Sir Alex Ferguson from Chivas Guadalajara in 2010.

[ MORE: Mourinho feels “betrayed” ]

Despite often jumping off the bench, Chicharito scored 59 goals in 157 games for United but over the last two seasons he has been an outcast at Old Trafford with Louis van Gaal shipping him out on loan to Real Madrid last season and then selling him to Bayer on Transfer Deadline Day this season.

So, how did it all go down? Speaking to Spanish TV show “Fiebre Maldini” Hernandez said the following.

“I didn’t have the intention to leave but I wanted to more playing time. Van Gaal told me that he already had his strikers, that I would have to fight for a place but could take an offer if an opportunity arrives,” Hernandez said. “The board told me that I could go on loan to Real Madrid and it was not a difficult decision for me. Then I returned to Manchester. I started to have opportunities but one day I spoke with Van Gaal and I had only a one per cent chance of playing so I needed to make magic. So I moved to Bayer.”

United could certainly use Chicharito right now, but he’s doing just fine at the BayArena and is thriving on being the main man up top.

“I felt confident from the very first day,” Hernandez said. “I feel important, not just because of my goals, but because I feel that I’ll start every game.”

Expect plenty more of this then. Oh, LVG, what were you thinking when you let the Little Pea go for what now seems like a pittance?

Follow @JPW_NBCSports