By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Javier Hernandez has revealed he left Manchester United because Louis van Gaal told him he only had a “one per cent” chance of getting into the team.
The Mexico international joined Bayer Leverkusen on the penultimate day of the summer transfer window and has scored 17 goals in 20 matches for the Bundesliga club, including 15 in his last 12 appearances.
By contrast, United have found goals hard to come by and the manager has been criticised for releasing a proven goalscorer in Hernandez as well as allowing prolific rookies James Wilson to join Brighton on season-long loan.
Van Gaal only granted Hernandez three substitute appearances at the start of the current campaign, preferring to use captain Wayne Rooney as his main striker and then signing Anthony Martial for a fee that could rise to £58.8 million.
“I spoke with Van Gaal and he said that I only had a one percent chance of playing in my position, so I headed to Bayer,” Hernandez told Spanish TV show “Fiebre Maldini” in quotes reported by Marca. “I felt confident from the very first day.
“I feel important, not just because of my goals, but because I feel that I’ll start every game.”
Van Gaal sanctioned Hernandez’s loan to Real Madrid last season and the 27-year-old explained: “He told me that I’d have to fight for my place, but that if the right offer came up I should take it. Real Madrid came in for me and it wasn’t a tough decision.”