LA Galaxy striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez is unlikely to be getting back into the Mexico men's national team in 2021 unless he improves on a disappointing past season, according to head coach Gerardo "Tata" Martino.
Hernandez is Mexico's highest-ever goal-scorer, but hasn't played for Mexico since September 2019 and seems to have fallen out of favor with Martino as Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Raul Jimenez has taken over the starting spot.
"There is a selection process," explained Martino in an interview with ESPN Mexico. "I could be right, I could be wrong. These are decisions that I have to take. We've called up Raul [Jimenez], Henry Martin, [Alan] Pulido, so it was [Hernandez's] turn to be on the outside. Also, I don't want to get into an analysis of his current form with the Galaxy, which also is linked to the team's form, which hasn't been good."
"Nobody plays because they are the historic record goal-scorers in the national team, it keeps you there for a while, but not forever," continued Martino. "If not we'd be calling up players like Hugo Sanchez."
Hernandez only managed two goals in his debut season in Major League Soccer, but has committed to improving his output next year.
Mexico has a busy 2021 with friendlies in March followed by Nations League play and then the Gold Cup in the summer, with World Cup qualifying in the fall, but Hernandez's path to a return may be made more complicated by then.
Monterrey striker Rogelio Funes Mori is in the process of becoming a Mexican citizen and has said he'd like to play for El Tri, while new Atlas signing Julio Furch, like Funes Mori originally from Argentina, is also keen to feature under Martino.
The former Barcelona coach isn't ruling any "naturalized" Mexican players out of the reckoning.
"What a national team coach wants is to have as vast a choice as possible of players to pick," said Martino. "In this case if there are players not born in Mexico, but can legally play with the Mexican national team, it opens up the pool."
"And if they can play for the Mexican national team it means that they've been in the country for many years and are committed to the country, so in that case they would be players that are eligible for a call-up."