Javier Hernandez swapped Manchester United for Bayer Leverkusen because Louis van Gaal told him he only had a “one per cent chance of playing”.
The Mexican striker was loaned out to Real Madrid during the Dutchman’s first season at the Old Trafford helm.
Upon his return to United, Van Gaal made it clear Hernandez was unlikely to attain regular football under him in 2015-16, leading to his move to Germany – where he has since scored 17 goals in 20 appearances in all competitions.
“I spoke with Van Gaal and he said that I only had a one per cent chance of playing in my position, so I headed to Bayer,” Hernandez told Movistar+.
“I felt confident from the very first day. I feel important, not just because of my goals, but because I feel that I’ll start every game.”
However, the 27-year-old still looks back fondly at his time at Old Trafford, lauding former United coach Alex Ferguson as one of the best in history.
“I had a great time there. I had an incredible start, full of opportunities, although those opportunities dwindled over time and things took a turn for the worse,” Hernandez added.
“I’m so grateful to Ferguson. I think he’s the best there’s ever been, especially his squad management skills.
“Every player had his place. A squad player could still play 15 games a season. He opened the door to Europe for me and I won two league titles there.”