Javier Hernandez exclusive: Old Trafford return will be special
By Oliver Yew
Last Updated: 13/08/17 3:18pm
Javier Hernandez insists it will be a special occasion when he returns to his 'old house', Old Trafford, to make his West Ham debut against Manchester United on Sunday.
The 29-year-old joined the Hammers for £16m from Bayer Leverkusen this summer, two years after he left United for the Bundesliga side, and finds himself facing his old team at Old Trafford, live on Sky Sports Premier League.
And Hernandez, who scored 59 goals in his time with United, is expecting a tough encounter when he walks out against his former club in the colours of West Ham.
When asked how he felt when he learned he would be facing United on the opening day of the season, Hernandez told Sky Sports: "I was very happy. I'm a Hammer now and I'll give everything in these colours on the pitch but also it's something special.
"My return to the Premier League is going to be at my old house. It was my first chapter in Europe, a place I won two Premier League titles so it will be very special.
"It's the perfect welcome for me being a Hammer. To be in that stadium again, to play and to try to win with my new team is what is in my mind.
"It will be a very tough match but we are confident we can fight with anybody."
And will he celebrate if he scores against his former club?
"We'll see," he said. "I cannot tell you because sometimes I try to prepare a celebration but right now I'm not thinking about it.
"If I score and I feel I need to celebrate my first goal in my old house with my new team I will do it. However, if I score and feel I need to be quiet to be respectful to my old fans and my old house, I will do it.
"However, the most important thing is to score, I don't care about the celebration.
"I will be happy if I score. If I celebrate or not, it's irrelevant for me because scoring is the most important."
Hernandez won two Premier League titles during his time at United, the second of which came in 2013 as Sir Alex Ferguson retired in style by delivering another trophy for the club.
The Mexico international also scored the final United goal of the Ferguson era in the 5-5 draw with West Brom, something he's extremely proud of.
"That's something I will take to the grave," he added. "I'm very proud and very lucky that I can say that.
"I always say it's a good achievement as a player to be one of Sir Alex Ferguson's players. He bought me and then I helped to win the 19th and 20th leagues for United.
"Then I scored the last goal of his era and it's something that's easy to say but difficult to achieve."
A new chapter has now opened in Hernandez's career and he's ready to play a key role for the Hammers, targeting European qualification.
"I've come here to West Ham, a very historic club with a lot of hunger," Hernandez said.
"It's a very ambitious club and hopefully we can qualify for Europe. That's the main goal."
When asked if he's relishing the prospect of being West Ham's main man, he added: "I want to be important. I don't know if I'm going to be that player that they missed or not but I want to be important.
"I want to help this team a lot. I'm going to give everything and hopefully I can deliver very good performances and then good results."