The Mexican's impact on the Bundesliga has been extraordinary: 13 goals in 16 appearances tell only half of a gripping tale, the rest of which is yet to be narrated and, if January is anything to go by, promises to be a thriller.
At the double!
Voted the CONCACAF Male Player of the Year for 2015 for the first time, the 27-year-old is earning more and more recognition for his remarkable form, which has seen him voted bundesliga.com's Player of the Month a staggering three times this season, earning the January gong by a landslide with 63 per cent of the vote, ahead of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Robert Lewandowski.
His brace on Matchday 19 helped Leverkusen pick up their first win of 2016 and move into in the Bundesliga, on course for a return to the UEFA Champions League next season. And despite having played in every single Bundesliga game since he arrived in Leverkusen at the end of August, there was no thought of taking him off for a rest against Hannover 96.
"Chicharito was really on fire in the last few minutes and that's why you must never take a player like him off," admitted Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt. "He's always capable of deciding a game on his own."
'Confidence is to play day-by-day'
It is precisely that faith which is helping Chicharito flourish. "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 from Leverkusen’s recent training camp in Florida. "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. 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. "
Schmidt is giving 'the little pea' that rhythm, and earning payback in the form of goals, goals and more goals. "It's nice to be given 90 minutes again today and for the faith [Schmidt] has in me of being able to score at any moment," remarked Chicharito after his latest inspirational show on Matchday 19. The Mexican could not do it alone, though, and in true Oscar award-winning speech manner, he thanked those who had helped him get his latest Player of the Month award.
"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," he said.
Meeting of minds
Helping him considerably in reaching his personal and team objectives is Stefan Kießling, who opened the scoring for Leverkusen on Matchday 19, and whose partnership with Chicharito appears to have clicked in the past month. "We know each other's movements. I think we’ve got a good thing going," Kießling said. "I think the combination play will continue to get better, we're getting used to each other."
And that, if their five-goal salvo against Borussia Mönchengladbach on Matchday 16 was not enough already, is about as big a warning as they come.