'Killer' Chicharito can show Manchester United what they're missing

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The Mexico international was brilliant under Alex Ferguson, and could have easily had the same impact again if Jose Mourinho had taken a risk


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Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez is heading back to Old Trafford. The Mexico forward is set to make his West Ham debut at his former home, providing the ideal setting for his Premier League return, where he can show Manchester United what they are missing.

The 29-year-old left United for Germany in August 2015, having spent the previous season on loan at Real Madrid. Chicharito had fallen out of favour with David Moyes and Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford, despite being an essential part of Alex Ferguson's squad during the Scot's last few seasons at the club.

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After becoming the first Mexican to sign for Man Utd in 2010, Hernandez was a revelation in his first season, netting 13 Premier League goals despite making just 15 starts in the competition. He was afforded 18 and nine league starts in the next two campaigns, but scored double figures in each as Ferguson used him as a game-winning option from the bench.

Javier Hernandez Manchester United vs Brugge Champions League 08182015

Current United boss Jose Mourinho lamented the fact that Chicharito was sold before he arrived at the club, indicating last season that his ruthless ability and killer instinct in front of goal would have easily seen him score 20 goals for the Red Devils - even as an impact substitute.

"We have some players that are not really players in love with the goal," Mourinho told reporters in April. "They are good players, they are creative players, they can create, but naturally they are not the kind of guy that is a killer.

"I give you a simple example. In the way we play at Old Trafford, in the way we dominate opponents in the way we play in their box, I think Chicharito would have 20 goals easy.

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"Even coming from the bench for the last 10 or 20 minutes, he will have 20 goals. He is a guy that naturally the ball comes, rebound here, rebounds there, boom - goal. The goalkeeper saves, he goes there, tap in - goal. The cross is coming, he anticipates the first post header - goal."

Having spent the last two seasons at Bayer Leverkusen, Chicharito is back in the Premier League. At West Ham, he will be the undisputed number one striker, rather than a back-up like he used to be at United. Andy Carroll is his main opposition in attack, but Mexico's record goalscorer has proven everywhere that he is a natural finisher.

With Leverkusen changing managers last season, Chicharito was somewhat inconsistent, yet still finished the campaign with 11 goals in 26 Bundesliga appearances. The previous season, he bagged 26 goals in 40 games in all competitions, including five in the Champions League group stage.

GFX Chicharito 2016-17 stats

With United back in the Champions League this season, Chicharito could have been the perfect addition to rotate with Romelu Lukaku in attack. Mourinho made the Belgian the club's second-most expensive player with a £75 million move from Everton, but needs another proven goalscorer to compete on multiple fronts.

At the moment, Mourinho has Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford as alternative options to Lukaku, but neither has really flourished at Old Trafford. Martial's first season following his £36m move was impressive, with 11 goals in 31 appearances, but even that high point of a goal every 239 minutes is lower than Chicharito's worst full season at the club, where he netted once every 209 minutes.

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Last season, Rashford played the impact substitute role as Zlatan Ibrahimovic was United's talisman in attack. His previous season was excellent with five goals in 11 apperances, but he tallied the same amount of goals in a bigger role last year, playing 32 games with exactly half of them coming from the bench. Rashford's shooting accuracy and shot conversion rates were also less than any season of Chicharito's at Man Utd, and less than either of the Mexican's seasons with Leverkusen.

With West Ham signing Chicharito for £13m, Mourinho may be kicking himself that he did not try to bring the 96-time Mexico international back to Old Trafford. Especially if he pops up on the opening weekend of the season with a goal against his former club.

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