Former Manchester United striker Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez says he had no choice but to leave Old Trafford as he "wanted to feel happy again". Hernandez, 27, left United after four years at the club on 31 August, joining Bayer Leverkusen in a permanent deal after the clubs agreed a reported fee of £7.3m ($11.2m).
The Mexico international was sent out on loan following Louis van Gaal's arrival in Manchester in 2014, joining Real Madrid for the 2014-15 season. But following his return to the club this summer, he failed to win over the Dutchman, who sanctioned his exit with just one day of the summer transfer window remaining.
Having spent his final years at United as a peripheral member of the squad – a status he also endured while on loan at Real Madrid last season – the striker is now glad to be at a club who have made him feel wanted again, and is determined to repay their faith in him.
"I want to go back to feeling important and happy. I want to find happiness," Hernandez told a press conference at an official unveiling on Tuesday, Sky Sports reports. "Bayer made me feel important and loved and coming here was not a difficult decision to make. They made me feel wanted.
"I want to help and achieve important things. I have felt very loved," Hernandez added. "I hope to accomplish things in my head and in my heart."
Hernandez was one of a host of names to leave Old Trafford in the final days of the summer transfer window. The biggest surprise saw Adnan Januzaj, a regular starter in van Gaal's side this season, join Borussia Dortmund on a season-long loan deal, while young defender Tyler Blackett also left on a temporary deal to spend the season with Celtic.
Goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard also left the club, signing a permanent deal with West Brom, reuniting with former United teammates Jonny Evans and Darren Fletcher at The Hawthorns.