Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez exclusive: Old Trafford return will be special

Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez

Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez insist it will be a special occasion when he returns to player his former side Manchester United, as he makes his debut for West Ham United on Sunday.

The 29-year-old joined the Hammers for £16m from Bayer Leverkusen this summer, two years after he left Old Trafford for the Bundesliga side, and finds himself facing his old team, live on Sky Sports Premier League.

And Hernandez, who netted 59 goals during his stint with United, is expecting a tough encounter when he walks out against his former side in the colours of West Ham.

When asked how he felt when he learned he would be facing the Red Devils on the opening day of the season, the Mexican told Sky Sports: “I was very happy. I’m a Hammer now and I’ll give everything in these colours on the pitch but also it’s something special.

“My return to the Premier League is going to be at my old house. It was my first chapter in Europe, a place I won two Premier League titles so it will be very special.

“It’s the perfect welcome for me being a Hammer. To be in that stadium again, to play and to try to win with my new team is what is in my mind.

“It will be a very tough match but we are confident we can fight with anybody.”

And will he celebrate if he scores against his former club?

“We’ll see,” he said. “I cannot tell you because sometimes I try to prepare a celebration but right now I’m not thinking about it.

“If I score and I feel I need to celebrate my first goal in my old house with my new team I will do it. However, if I score and feel I need to be quiet to be respectful to my old fans and my old house, I will do it.

“However, the most important thing is to score, I don’t care about the celebration.

“I will be happy if I score. If I celebrate or not, it’s irrelevant for me because scoring is the most important.”

He won two Premier League titles with United, the second of which came in 2013 as Sir Alex Ferguson retired in style by delivering another trophy for the club.

The Mexico international also bagged the final United goal of the Ferguson era in the 5-5 draw with West Bromwich, something he’s extremely proud of.

“That’s something I will take to the grave,” he added. “I’m very proud and very lucky that I can say that.

“I always say it’s a good achievement as a player to be one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s players. He bought me and then I helped to win the 19th and 20th leagues for United.

“Then I scored the last goal of his era and it’s something that’s easy to say but difficult to achieve.”

A new chapter has now opened in Hernandez’s career and he’s ready to play a key role for the Hammers, targeting European qualification.

“I’ve come here to West Ham, a very historic club with a lot of hunger,” Hernandez said.

“It’s a very ambitious club and hopefully we can qualify for Europe. That’s the main goal.”

When asked if he’s relishing the prospect of being West Ham’s main man, he added: “I want to be important. I don’t know if I’m going to be that player that they missed or not but I want to be important.

“I want to help this team a lot. I’m going to give everything and hopefully I can deliver very good performances and then good results.”

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Donald Stephen is a freelance football writer who knows only slightly less about football than you do. A regular contributor to Football Weeks, the Set Pieces, and others. You can connect with us on – Facebook and Twitter