Wednesday 22 November 2017

I left United because of Van Gaal - Hernandez

Javier Hernandez and Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal
Javier Hernandez and Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal

Pete Oliver

Javier Hernandez has added to the pressure on Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal by claiming he was given only a "one per cent chance" of playing in his position by the Dutchman.

Hernandez was sent on loan to Real Madrid last season after two appearances under Van Gaal. The Mexico international then made three substitute appearances on his return to United at the start of this campaign before being sold to Bayer Leverkusen for £7.3m, since when he has barely stopped scoring at a time when United's attacking resources look threadbare.

A hat-trick in a 5-0 victory against Borussia Monchengladbach last weekend took his tally this season to 17 in 20 appearances.

Hernandez said: "I didn't have the intention to leave (on loan) but I wanted more playing time. Van Gaal told me that he already had his strikers, that I would have to fight for a place but could take an offer if an opportunity arrives.

"The board told me that I could go on loan to Real Madrid and it was not a difficult decision for me.


"Then I returned to Manchester. I started to have opportunities but one day I spoke with Van Gaal and he said I had only a one per cent chance of playing in my position, so I moved to Bayer. I have been confident since the first day and I feel more important here, because I feel I'll start every game."

Hernandez's experience under Van Gaal contrasts with his time under Alex Ferguson. The striker was signed from Guadalajara in 2010 and scored 59 goals in 157 appearances. Nine of those came when David Moyes was in charge but Hernandez (27) says things changed when Ferguson left.

"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 said in a TV interview.

"I am totally grateful to Ferguson. I think he is the best manager in history. He had a place for everyone. Even a player who was not under consideration ended the season with 15 games. It was one of the best experiences of my life."

The decision to sell a player with proven scoring ability casts further doubt on Van Gaal's judgment at a time when United's shortcomings in attack are being badly exposed.

United have not won any of their last five matches, dropping to fourth in the Premier League and going out of the Champions League.

They have failed to score in five of their last 11 matches and in the absence of Wayne Rooney, who has missed three games with an ankle injury, have only one recognised striker in 20-year-old Anthony Martial.

The France international was signed from Monaco for £36m in August but has not scored in the Premier League since September. According to his countryman and former United player Mikael Silvestre, he needs the help of assistant manager Ryan Giggs.

"Ryan knows how to read the game," Silvestre said. "He will have the words and the will to build a good relationship with Anthony to help him."

Van Gaal also sanctioned the sales of Danny Welbeck to Arsenal in September 2014, Robin van Persie to Fenerbahce in the summer and winger Angel di Maria to Paris St-Germain in August.

His recruitment of Radamel Falcao failed to work out last season and Adnan Januzaj is on loan at Borussia Dortmund. The only short-term solution may be to recall James Wilson (20) from his loan to Brighton, unless they make an early move in the January transfer window. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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