(Reuters) – Mexico’s all-time leading scorer Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez has joined Los Angeles Galaxy from La Liga’s Sevilla, the Major League Soccer (MLS) club confirmed on Tuesday.
Hernandez, who has netted 52 goals in 109 international appearances, will be counted on to fill the void left when Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic left the club last November after two seasons.
“Javier has consistently scored goals in top leagues throughout the world and has been his country’s most successful player over the last decade,” Galaxy General Manager Dennis te Kloese said in a statement.
“He is a competitor who has proven success at the highest level and has scored the most goals ever of one of the best teams in CONCACAF.
“We think he can be one of Major League Soccer’s best attacking threats and help our team in multiple ways.”
Hernandez, a veteran of three World Cups, was signed as a “Designated Player” — each MLS club is allowed three such contracts — which means only a portion of his salary counts against the team’s salary budget allowable under league rules.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed but the Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday that Hernandez’s contract is for three years, including an option for a fourth, and that he will be paid an annual base salary of $6 million.
Hernandez began his professional career with Chivas Guadalajara in 2006 and then secured a transfer to the Premier League with Manchester United in 2010.
After scoring 59 goals with Manchester United across all competitions, Hernandez joined La Liga’s Real Madrid on loan in 2014. The following season, he made a permanent transfer to Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen, where he enjoyed some of the most productive years of his career.
Hernandez ended his time in Europe with stints at West Ham United in England (2017-19) and Sevilla in Spain (2019).
“The LA Galaxy continue to pursue top talent across the world that will improve our team,” Galaxy President Chris Klein said in a news release to announce the signing. “Javier is one of most successful players in our region and an iconic figure in this community.”
The five-times MLS Cup champions will be hoping Hernandez can bring his scoring touch given Ibrahimovic signed with Serie A club AC Milan last month after scoring 53 goals in two seasons with the Galaxy.
“The LA Galaxy continue to pursue top talent across the world that will improve our team,” said Galaxy President Chris Klein. “Javier is one of most successful players in our region and an iconic figure in this community.”
The Galaxy open their 2020 MLS regular season at Houston on Feb. 29 with their first home game scheduled for March 7.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Toby Davis)