Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez will no longer grace the pitch at Old Trafford. The Mexican striker hardly exits on good terms.

By Jamie Martin

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, a player who gave his all for United during four seasons at Old Trafford, exits Manchester hardly on good terms. The Mexican forward provided a great spark, often off of the bench, during his time under manager Sir Alex Ferguson but fell out of favor when new management came to the club. He now finds himself starting over in a country where he doesn’t speak the language and the style of soccer may not necessarily suit him.

The Mexico National Team star has joined German outfit Bayer Leverkusen and will look to make an impact on his team’s current Bundesliga campaign.

Chicharito embodies both what Manchester United is and isn’t about. He was a great player under Sir Alex, someone who guaranteed goals when the team needed it most. He represented the values that the club holds dear, never giving up. Many of the Mexican’s goals came during “Fergie time”, the last few minutes of a game when United needed either a tying or winning goal.

Despite all of his contributions to the club, Chicharito found himself being forced out under new manager Louis Van Gaal. Manchester United has a reputation of being a classy, respectful organization, and the sale of Hernandez does nothing but damage the club’s name and traditions. A player who gave so much to the fans, team, and management during his four years at the club, surely was deserving of a more appropriate exit.

Hernandez, upon his arrival at Leverkusen, took the time to thank members of the Manchester United organization but left out Louis Van Gaal and Ed Woodward, the two men responsible for his exit from the club.

The 27 year old forward scored 37 premier goals despite mainly featuring as a substitute during his time in Manchester. He scored many crucial goals, including match winners over teams such as Chelsea and Aston Villa. Chicharito brought pace and a will to win that is matched by few in today’s game.

Hernandez is a player that many have felt sorry for, he failed to nail down a regular starting position in his past two clubs and was many times unfairly selected on the substitutes bench. At Manchester United, under the leadership of Moyes and Van Gaal, Hernandez was made out to feel unimportant, that his role in the squad wasn’t as vital as the other players. The same thing happened at Real Madrid last season; during his loan spell Chicharito rarely cracked the starting eleven and spent 90 minutes on the bench way too often.

Chicharito’s career has been a strange one so far. The Mexican burst onto the Premier League stage, to the surprise of many, and played a vital role during the last few seasons of the Sir Alex Ferguson Era at Manchester United. He then became an expendable squad player under new managers and at Real Madrid. Now, at age 27, he finds himself in a new situation at Bayer Leverkusen. What will his role be?

The new Leverkusen striker deserves to be at the forefront of their attack and he should be seen as one of the best forwards in the German Bundesliga. Hernandez should become a regular in the starting eleven and will look to influence the club’s Champions League progression efforts. He has already become a fan favorite and deserves to be praised for his great work rate and passion for the game.

In this new situation, fans may finally get to see the real Chicharito. A player who deserves to be a star has finally gotten a chance to stay off of the substitutes bench.

As he embraces a new country and a new opportunity, Javier Hernandez should be thanked for all of the great memories he gave fans during his time at Manchester United.

It is sad to see him go, but Chicharito’s chance is long overdue.

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Jamie Martin is an aspiring sports journalist who covers the MLB, MLS, and the English Premier League. He is a huge fan of the New York Yankees and Manchester United.