Chicharito spoke to Rory Smith of The Times about his relationship with Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal and how being typecast at Manchester United held back his career.
The 27-year-old joined Bayer Leverkusen for £7.3million last August and has just earned his third Bundesliga Player of the Month award and has scored 13 goals in 16 appearances in the Bundesliga this season.
Louis van Gaal told the Mexican international that he would be back-up to Wayne Rooney and Hernandez felt he had no choice but to leave.
“I think he was happy with that role. People thought I was, too, but I wasn’t. I was not happy being on the bench.
“If the coach had told me I would be his No. 1 striker, I would never have left,’ Hernandez told The Times.
“But I wanted to play.
“I looked for the team for three years. I focused on being there, on working, on being a good team-mate, on being ready. [It was the time] to look for myself, to look at my own goals.
“The fans wanted me to stay, but they wanted me to stay as a back-up. I did not want to wait any more.
“It is easy to say you don’t want to train, to tweet or put a picture on Instagram because you are not playing, to fight with a manager.”
Rather than carrying a grudge towards the Dutchman for not offering him that opportunity, Hernández is grateful to him.
“In the first few weeks, he spoke to me and said he saw a good future, that I would have more chances than normal. It made me feel I could play. But then, after the start of the season, he told me he was thinking Wazza would be his No. 1.
“He said I would be No. 2, but that the reality was that if Wazza got injured or was out for any reason, when he came back he would play [no matter how well I had done].
“It was 99 per cent likely I would not be first choice.
“He was clear. That was his idea, and we have to be respectful of that. We decided that if a good offer came, I would take it.”
Hernández also admitted he has been following his old team’s performances. He watched the 3-0 victory against Stoke City — “a good game, the first goals in the first half for quite a long time” — and he stays in touch with many of his former team-mates.
Hernandez will star for Leverkusen on Saturday evening when his side face Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich at home.