Fresh start at Real Madrid could be just what Javier Hernandez needs
Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez is officially a Real Madrid player. At this moment, everything is perfect for him and his fans.
There have been no games yet, no practice reports and no time spent on a bench for Madrid. At this moment, Chicharito can bask in the warm glow of potential and possibilities. He can fantasize about scoring in the Champions League once again or playing with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and James Rodriguez.
Anything truly seems possible for the striker after his time at Manchester United. He undoubtedly had trouble with the squad recently, but he leaves the club with 59 goals in four years. Who would have ever anticipated that? Sure, he was a fantastic player for Chivas, but I doubt many could have expected the positive influence that he had on the club.
Now he's off to Madrid. An even more powerful club than Manchester United, and one that will have high expectations for the humble and hard-working striker. Will he become an even more lethal poacher with Ronaldo and Gareth Bale playing alongside him? Can he steal Karim Benzema's role on the team and become a starter? It's a mouth-watering opportunity for the player, and I don't blame him at all for going.
He needed the change as well. He was fourth in line at United, and it wasn't going to help that the club are not involved in any European competitions this season. The team being unceremoniously dumped out of the League Cup after losing 4-0 to MK Dons last week won't have helped either.
He may still be a bench player for Real Madrid, but he will have more opportunities to play. Los Blancos have La Liga to fight for, the Copa del Rey, the Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup, too.
In his first news conference for Madrid, the 26-year-old Mexican international was noticeably giddy. He couldn't help but smile and laugh as he answered every question perfectly in his first media appearance for Los Merengues. Hopefully, this great introduction to the club will bode well for his future with the team.
For now, there will be plenty of criticism for Chicharito. Whether it be from skeptical fans or from those who think he will rot on the Madrid bench. That said, he proved many wrong during his first season at United and he is talented enough to prove doubters wrong once again.
Perhaps this is the exact catalyst he needs at this point in his career. Maybe this will be a watershed date for the player and one that everyone will remember for quite some time.
Best of luck to you, "Little Pea." We'll be watching.
Cesar Hernandez covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @cesarhfutbol.