For Javier “Chicharito” Hernández, the past week’s international break has provided a welcome relief. Having made just a single league start this season for Real Madrid, and no start in any competition in 2015, the 26-year-old bagged his first goal of the calendar year in Mexico’s 1-0 win over Ecuador at the weekend. After his impressive performance, Hernández revealed the struggles he has endured during what he initially described as a “dream” loan move to the Spanish giants from Manchester United.
“My situation is frustrating,” Hernández said in an interview with Fox Sports. “I cooperate, I give everything in training but in the games the opportunities are minimal. I’m in a team but left out of the important bit, which are the games. At times my confidence is rock bottom although I try to keep it high, with help from people that are always there with me and support me.”
“The most important thing is to have opportunities and feel confidence in yourself. Whenever they [Madrid] have placed their confidence in me, the numbers have been positive, but I’ve been through two rather frustrating years.”
Having seen his appearances limited under David Moyes last season, Hernández was deemed surplus to requirements by Louis van Gaal when he took over at Manchester United. And, while it has long been inevitable that Hernández will return to Old Trafford once his loan at Real Madrid expires, it appears almost as unlikely that he will remain there beyond this summer.
With Radamel Falcao’s loan move having not worked out as planned and Robin van Persie continuing to struggle with injuries, there could well be at least one vacancy up front at Manchester United next season. And, in a poll conducted by the Manchester Evening News, more than half of Manchester United fans said they would prefer to have Hernández in the club’s squad next season rather than Falcao. Still, Van Gaal is not a man prone to changing his mind about a player. And with just over a year remaining on his contract, United look set to cash in.
The good news for Hernández is that his form for Mexico, and the prospect of playing at either the Gold Cup or Copa America this summer, should only increase the interest in his services. Already the likes of Tottenham, West Ham, Lazio, Roma and Valencia have been linked with a transfer, while he has also been subject of interest from Major League Soccer. Certainly it is easy to envisage Hernández one day winding up in the United States, possibly in Los Angeles -- where he scored against Ecuador -- but he has unsurprisingly stated that such a move does not interest him at this time.
Now, according to the Daily Mail, Bundesliga high-flyers Wolfsburg have joined the queue for his signature. The German side would likely provide a tempting proposition for Hernández, given that they currently lie second in the Bundesliga and look assured of a place in the Champions League next season with one of Europe’s most exciting young squads. And with current striker Bas Dost still something of an unproven quality at the top level, and backup Nicklas Bendtner not overly impressing, there could be a vacancy up front.
It seems probable that a potential transfer to Wolfsburg would hold greater appeal to Hernández than one to Stoke City. According to TalkSport, the mid-table Premier League side are keen to sign the former Chivas de Guadalajara man. But, while he may have to take a step down from super clubs like Real Madrid and Manchester United, Hernández will doubtless aim to remain playing among the elite in the Champions League.