Sevilla have agreed a fee with LA Galaxy for the Mexico striker Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández. In an interview published on Tuesday with the Los Angeles Times, the 31-year-old said it was “the right time, the right opportunity” to make the move to the MLS club.
The Galaxy confirmed the move on Tuesday morning, and a photo of Hernández in the club’s shirt appeared at the top of their Twitter page. Reports say the Galaxy paid €8.5m ($9.4m) for Hernández, and he will earn around $6m a year under the terms of a three-year deal.
During his career in Europe, Hernández played for high-profile clubs including Manchester United and Real Madrid. However, many believe he never quite lived up to his potential, and the last time Hernández scored more than 10 league goals in a campaign was for Bayer Leverkusen in the 2016-17 season. However, he denied he was moving to MLS for an easier ride. “I’m going to be playing,” Hernández told the LA Times. “That’s what I want in my life. People are going to say it was because I couldn’t make it [in Europe], but sometimes in football there are things that are not in your hands.”
He added that he had spoken to his compatriot Jonathan Dos Santos, who also plays for the Galaxy, about life in MLS before making the move. “Jonathan told me the league is very underrated,” Hernández said. “I really believe you don’t go there to retire.”
Hernández is Mexico’s all-time leading goalscorer with 52 goals and has been viewed as an attractive target for MLS clubs, particularly the LA teams, who have large Mexican-American fanbases.
“I’m going to be able to play in front of a lot of Mexican fans, Galaxy fans, American fans,” Hernández said. “That’s what’s great about football. They give you a lot of opportunities.”
Chris Klein, Galaxy’s president, hailed the signing as a signal of the club’s ambition. “The LA Galaxy continue to pursue top talent across the world that will improve our team,” said Klein. “Javier is one of the most successful players in our region and an iconic figure in this community.”
The Galaxy are the most successful club in MLS history, with five titles, although they have not reached an MLS Cup final since their last victory in 2014. They lost their highest profile player, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, at the end of last season shortly before he rejoined Milan.