Chicharito: Leverkusen made me feel important and loved
Javier Hernández praised Bayer Leverkusen for making him feel wanted after spending the early portion of the Premier League as a substitute with Manchester United.
Hernández completed a reported $11 million transfer from United to Leverkusen and signed a three-year deal on Monday in search of regular first-team football.
United manager Louis van Gaal preferred to deploy Wayne Rooney up front and shunted Hernández to the fringes of his plans for the upcoming season. Hernandez opted to move to Leverkusen for more first-team opportunities and the chance to remain in the Champions League.
Hernández cited his desire to feel important within the Leverkusen squad as one of the primary motivations behind his switch from the Premier League to the Bundesliga.
“I want to go back to feeling important and happy,” Hernandez said in his introductory press conference on Tuesday. “I want to find happiness. Bayer made me feel important and loved and coming here was not a difficult decision to make. They made me feel wanted.”
Leverkusen sealed their move for the 27-year-old striker after securing a place in this season’s Champions League by knocking out Lazio in a playoff last week. Sporting director Rudi Völler lauded Hernández as a potent option capable of leading the line for Roger Schmidt’s side.
“He’s a lively. mobile and quick striker who can combine well and has a good technique and the ability to finish,” Völler said in a release. “In ‘Chicharito’ we have more options and are more unpredictable. I’m really happy he’s decided to join Bayer 04. The Bundesliga can look forward to watching another great player.”
Those words offer Hernandez considerable comfort after he appeared primarily as a substitute during his time at United and his loan spell at Real Madrid last season. Chicharito said he hopes to repay that faith once he settles in Germany.
“I want to help and achieve important things,” Hernandez said. “I have felt very loved. I hope to accomplish things in my head and in my heart.”
Information from PA Sport was used in compiling this report.