Javier Hernandez has admitted his lack of playing time affected his confidence at Manchester United. The 27-year-old Mexico international enjoyed a stellar start to his career at Old Trafford, playing a vital role in winning the Premier League during his first season in English football.

But the striker has conceded his confidence suffered when he was omitted from the United side on a consistent basis. Hernandez has only rediscovered his goalscoring touch after joining German outfit Bayer Leverkusen in the summer of 2015, netting 19 goals so far this season.

"What I was missing in the last two or three years, it was like I was playing sometimes and then returning to the bench," Hernandez told the Orlando Sentinel. "But now that I am playing most of the game or almost all of my games here in my club, that's what I need – the rhythm, that confidence. Because people sometimes think the confidence is with goals, but I don't think like that. I think confidence is to play day-by-day, to get rhythm."

Despite his impressive record this season, Hernandez is also keen to recognise the input of his club team-mates, who have helped him to become one of European football's most sought-after strikers once again.

"That's something that the press or the fans can put those adjectives to you," he said. "But for me I am just one more player, one more person to play for Leverkusen who tries to do his best for the team, to get the objectives that we wanted since the beginning of the season."

Hernandez, who spent the 2014-15 season on loan at Real Madrid, is said to have attracted interest from Premier League leaders Arsenal. However, Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller recently said the club do not wish to sell the player in January.