Friday, June 22, 2018

Was Louis van Gaal wrong to let Javier Hernandez go?

Milos Markovic in Bundesliga 15 Dec 2015

Chicharito enjoying his time at Leverkusen / Image via

Chicharito enjoying his time at Leverkusen / Image via

Some call it karma, others refer to it as pure coincidence, but no one was left indifferent having seen Javier Hernandez score a hat-trick for Bayer Leverkusen as his former team Manchester United was losing to Bournemouth in the Premier League.

It was the victory of faith for the Mexican striker, who was maltreated during his short-lived spell under the Dutch manager at Old Trafford, victory of self-belief and perseverance.

Javier Hernandez was sold in the summer for a reported fee of €11 million, having been left in despair and disappointment he witnessed for much of his tenure at Manchester United. Louis van Gaal took an immediate disliking towards the Mexican forward, limiting his time on the pitch before dispatching him out on loan to Real Madrid.

Chicharito was never given the true chance to prove his worth to the experienced, but strong-willed Dutchman, who had made it pretty clear to the 27-year-old striker that he did not feature in his plans.

“I spoke with Van Gaal and he said that I only had one percent chance of playing in my position, so I headed to Bayer”, revealed Javier Hernandez in his interview with Movistar reported by the Spanish outlet Marca.

Moving to Bundesliga proved to be a hit for the Mexican forward.

Hernandez regained his confidence in Germany while awarding his team for the trust invested in him with goals in all fronts.

Leverkusen striker scored a total of 10 goals in the Bundesliga this term, adding five more in the UEFA Champions League, scoring fifteen goals in total in his last 12 games. Hernandez’s goals have been pivotal in Leverkusen’s charges in both Champions League and Bundesliga, with the Mexican proving once again how effective he really is when given a considerable time on the pitch.

Comparing his current highflying form with his former club’s most recent slumps offers an interesting insight.

With his 15 goals in the last 12 matches in all competitions, Chicharito has scored more than the entire United squad have scored in that exact period of time (10).

What is more, as Javier Hernandez claimed his first Bundesliga hat-trick in the 5-0 triumph over Borussia Monchengladbach, his former team was struggling against Bournemouth, ultimately losing 2-1 against the minnows.

Call it karma, call it a timely coincidence, the irony was evident.

Van Gaal was perhaps too quick on the trigger when it came to making a decision to let Hernandez go, but the Dutchman is no stranger to controversial decisions.

In addition to selling Javier Hernandez, Van Gaal did not hesitate to show the exit door to his other two strikers – Robin van Persie and loan flop Radamel Falcao – choosing to rely only on Wayne Rooney in the attack.

Late intervention from the Board saw Manchester United make a last-gasp move for Anthony Martial, who was described by Van Gaal himself as the purchase for his successor at the helm.

Still, having been left short of options, the Dutch manager provided the young French striker with the unexpected chance in the attack.

Blistering start ensued firing up the expectations and ambitions from the stands as former Monaco rising star was being touted as an instant hit. However, Martial’s recent poor form has just added insult to injury, leaving Van Gaal in despair.

Chicharito is not looking back.

Having scored four goals in two games for his new club, the Mexican is focused on helping his team achieve a respectable result in Europa League, following the elimination from the Champions League. Leverkusen ended their CL route after coming third in Group E behind Barcelona and AS Roma.

The German club are willing to go all the way in the European competition that has been underrated for some time now. However, with the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Fiorentina, Tottenham, Liverpool, but also Manchester United all ready to step on the Europa League stage, Chicharito’s current club will have every reason to fight for glory in the knock out stages.

They have been pitted against Sporting Lisbon in one of the high-profile match-ups in the round of 32, but will be able to count on the scoring exploits of the striker who bagged 18 goals in just 21 appearances for the club across competitions this term.

The goals are flowing for the Mexican striker and his club are now standing at 4/7 to qualify for the round of 16 in the Europa League.

One man’s loss is another man’s gain, the saying has never been more correct when it comes to Javier Hernandez and his dramatic change of fortunes following his departure from Manchester United.

In the end, was Louis van Gaal wrong to let him go?


Milos Markovic

Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently and His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.



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