Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has never been shy about his love for Mexican striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernández. Mourinho went on the record this week, saying that Chicharito would have dominated at Old Trafford had he not been sold to Bayer Leverkusen by former United manager Louis van Gaal, back in 2015.
Mourinho just missed coaching Chicharito on two separate occassions; the Mexican was loaned to Real Madrid a couple of seasons after The Special One was fired, and he was sold the year before Mourinho took over at the Red Devils. As the current United manager looks to improve upon his squad from this past season, he has a list of players he’s targeting, and Hernandez seems to be the apple of his eye.
During an up-and-down season in the Bundesliga, it looked like the 28-year-old forward would be moved by Leverkusen. Rumors hinted at an exit to Villarreal, Arsenal, his hometown Chivas de Guadalajara, and even to the Los Angeles MLS expansion side. Hernández was able to bounce back before the end of the season, ending an 11-game scoreless drought and winning Bundesliga Player Of The Month in February.
Chicharito became Mexico’s top all-time international goal scorer this year, passing Jared Borgetti. As if that wasn’t enough, he also became the Mexican player with the most Champions League appearances with 47, surpassing Rafa Marquez.
A talent like Hernandez has Mourinho salivating. “We have good players, they are creative players, they can create, but they are not the kind of guy that is naturally a killer,” the former Chelsea, Inter, and Real Madrid boss said after watching his team struggle to score goals last season; only recently-released striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic had double digit goals.
“I give a simple example — in the way we play at Old Trafford, in the way we dominate opponents, in the way we play in the box, I think Chicharito would have scored 20 goals easy. Even coming from the bench for the last 10 or 20 minutes, he would have 20 goals,” said Mourinho.
“He is the guy that naturally the ball comes here, rebound here, rebounds there, boom, goal. The goalkeeper saves, he goes there, boom, goal. The cross is coming, he anticipates the first-post header, goal,” the club manager continued. Stay tuned to see if Chicharito will pack his bags and return to Manchester United, where he scored arguably the funniest goal of all-time.