Hernandez: Van Gaal told me I’d be second-choice at Man United behind Rooney

by Ben Topliss

Javier Hernandez has revealed he left Manchester United because Louis van Gaal told him that he would be his second-choice striker behind Wayne Rooney.

Eyebrows were raised when van Gaal decided to let Hernandez join Bayer Leverkusen in the summer.

Hernandez has gone on to become one of the deadliest strikers in the Bundesliga, scoring 25 goals in 37 games for Leverkusen this season. The Mexican revealed his motivation behind leaving United in an interview with Sky Sports.

“He just told me that my chances to play would be very hard. I appreciate that he was very honest since the beginning,” Hernandez said.

“When I left, he told me my chances and my opportunities were going to be less because his main striker was going to be Wayne Rooney. If he wasn’t fit for example, I was going to play but when he was ready he would play.”

The decision to let Hernandez go of course looks ridiculous in hindsight but, at the time, it did make sense.

Hernandez looked bereft of confidence during the few opportunities he was given at the start of the campaign and his loan spell at Real Madrid the season before was a resounding failure. Supporters can, however, point to Marcus Rashford’s emergence as a silver lining from the whole affair.

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