Former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez has stated that he would play for the Old Trafford club for free if he ever returned to the Theatre of Dreams, which is not all that likely unless he was involved in a future legends match of course.
Chicharito won two Premier League titles and one FA Community Shield in a five-year stay at the Old Trafford club, spending a season out on loan with Real Madrid, where he won the FIFA Club World Cup. He has since played for Bayer Leverkusen, West Ham United, Sevilla and now LA Galaxy.
He now looks to United as a former player who has some fondness for the club also feeling that it is time for the club to get over Sir Alex Ferguson, which is something that has not quite happened. United have been on a downward spiral since the legendary manager retired in 2013.
Chicharito seemed to decline at United post-Ferguson, scoring nine goals and four assists in 35 appearances in the season of David Moyes and Giggs (as interim), then finding himself surplus to requirements under Louis van Gaal before being sold to Bayer Leverkusen.
Chicharito knew that United were going to decline post-Ferguson, which is what happened. The club has not won a Premier League title in nine consecutive seasons but they have won two FA Community Shields, one EFL Cup and one UEFA Europa League. About Ferguson Chicharito said:
“United need to get over the fact that Sir Alex Ferguson has gone. Would we like to have someone similar? Yes, yes, yes. But Sir Alex has gone and it is never going to be the same. It doesn’t surprise me what has happened at United because in life it’s not easy having a manager for 26 years in the way that Sir Alex did it.
“One of his greatest aptitudes, in my humble opinion, was that probably seven out of 10 players who signed for United worked out. That’s not easy, man – not for Real Madrid or Barcelona or even for Chelsea, (Manchester) City, Liverpool or Bayern Munich.
“It is like winning the lottery. Do you think anyone you hire afterwards is going to be able to do even 80 percent of what Ferguson did? The problem is that the other difficulty is that United are not in the Champions League, so some players aren’t going to come.
“Of course, some players will always want to come to Manchester United. If another club can offer Champions League then who do you choose? You choose the best club for your career. United are now in the same process that Liverpool was in when I was in England.
“So I understand what is happening with Ronaldo. Time will tell what is going to happen with him – but what if Ronaldo stays and scores 40 goals? That could happen.”
Currently, Erik ten Hag, the sixth manager employed by the Old Trafford club post-Ferguson, not including the interim periods held by both Ryan Giggs and Michael Carrick, is seeking to strengthen the club, needing a striker. Talking about playing for the club for free, Chicharito said:
“If United came for me then I’d say ‘yes, I’ll play for free.’ Of course, you know, I’d do that. But I also want to be very respectful to my club. I am playing very consistently and in my mind my conviction is all about winning a championship with LA Galaxy. In the future, if things happen then they happen – but in my mind I am 100 percent with LA.”
Rather than being a solution to United’s problem, Chicharito, 34, is just looking back at his time at the club and showing his love for the Theatre of Dreams. Of course, he will not be coming back to the club but it is good to hear former players who have moved on, now looking back.
Written by John Walker