Man Utd's David De Gea: 'Chicharito' among world's best goal scorers
Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea told ESPN he does not know why Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez has not had a chance at Old Trafford in recent years and that the Mexican would guarantee goals if he played.
Chicharito, 27, scored 20 goals in his first year at Manchester United, after joining from Guadalajara in the summer of 2010, and was voted the club's Player of the Year as they won the Premier League title and reached the Champions League final.
The striker did not build on that success though and spent the 2014-15 campaign on loan at Real Madrid, while he was sent out on loan again, this time at Bayer Leverkusen, where he scored 10 goals in his first 14 appearances for the Bundesliga side.
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While on duty for Spain, De Gea said he did not understand why United managers David Moyes and Louis van Gaal had chosen to do without such a proven goal scorer.
"I don't know," De Gea told the ESPN Deportes show Fuera De Juego. "These are decisions for the coach. But in my team he would always play. He was an undisputed starter before and player of the year at United. He can get you 20, 30 goals a season. I would like a lot to play with him again, hopefully it can happen."
De Gea also revealed that he speaks regularly with his friend, and has been delighted that things are going so well at Leverkusen.
"He is a very good friend, we last spoke two or three days ago," he said. "We are in touch a lot. He does well in whatever team he is at.
"He has scored eight or nine goals in very few games. The truth is he is doing well at Leverkusen and everyone knows Chicharito is a goal scorer."
Indeed, De Gea and Mexico international formed a strong bond during their time together in Manchester.
"I miss him a lot in Manchester," De Gea said. "We were always together, in everything. He is a very good friend of mine. We went out to eat, played Playstation, I went to his house; he came to mine. Our families get on well too. His parents would cook Mexican food, my family would cook too -- typical Spanish meals."
Despite the fact that Hernandez has found things difficult at Manchester United, De Gea insisted that he has learned from the experience and always wants to show he can score goals.
"It is difficult for him, for any player, to play little," he said. "Then when he came on, he scored. I learned from him when I came to Manchester, he is a hard worker, always first to training and last to leave. He does not relax if he is not playing, keeps working hard.
"They were difficult moments, but everyone trusts in him, knows the level he has. He always does something, always scores goals when he gets playing time. He is showing now he is among best goal scorers in the world."