On Monday, West Ham completed the £16million signing of Mexican striker Javier Hernandez. The diminutive striker returns to England having spent two prolific years at German club Bayer Leverkusen.
With transfer fees massively inflated this summer, the signing of ‘Chicharito’ could prove to be the bargain of the summer, even if the striker is 29 years old and reliant on his pace.
Great signing for West Ham
In reality, Hernandez would have been a great signing for virtually any Premier League club this summer. The striker is a proven goalscorer in the Premier League and the German top-flight. He even proved he knew where the net was in a short loan spell at Real Madrid.
It is very hard to sign proven goalscorers that can thrive in the Premier League. Signing the former Manchester United star was a real no-brainer for West Ham.
West Ham have been crying out for a striker who even knows the vague direction of the goal in recent years. England striker Andy Carroll is one of the most menacing strikers in the Premier League on his day.
However, he seems to have a lifelong membership to the treatment room. Hernandez is just the poacher the Hammers need. With the likes of Manuel Lanzini, Michail Antonio and new signing Marko Arnautovic to supply the striker, he should be a hit on his return to the Premier League.
Needs to be playing regularly
Hernandez made himself a cult hero at Manchester United in his first spell in the English top-flight. Unfortunately, much of his football at Old Trafford came from off the substitute’s bench and eventually he became tired of playing a supporting role and joined Bayer Leverkusen.
Hernandez has scored 72 goals at United, Real Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen, which came at a ratio of a goal every 134 minutes. In fact, Hernandez has the fifth best goals per-minute ratio in the history of the Premier League. That is impressive.
The Mexican has no doubt benefitted from more regular first-team football in the Bundesliga, though. He was the main man at Bayer Leverkusen and not just one of the supporting cast like he was in Manchester or Madrid.
The striker will once again be the main man at West Ham. His scoring record suggests that he could thrive in east London. He certainly has a far better pedigree than the likes of Ashley Fletcher or Jonathan Calleri, who have both so far failed to make an impact on the Premier League with the Hammers.
In Hernandez, they have a true goal-getter, who given the opportunities could well prove to be highly prolific for the Hammers in the new campaign.
A positive campaign ahead
West Ham boss Slaven Bilic looks to have made some very shrewd signings this summer. The signings of experienced Premier League campaigners Pablo Zabaleta and Joe Hart on free and loan transfers respectively are for me masterstrokes.
The Hammers have also brought in Arnautovic and Hernandez for just over £40million. By comparison with some deals this summer it looks positively sensible.
Bilic’s has improved his squad from last season, but it is hard to know where they rank in the Premier League after a topsy-turvy campaign. At odds of 12/1, they may not be a terrible shout for a top-six place in the new season.
Of course, they have plenty of work to do. However, West Ham fans will have a right to be excited about the new campaign. I cannot remember a summer when the Hammers have brought in so much quality.
Top of that list is the signing of Javier Hernandez, who they somehow signed for a reasonable fee this summer. If the Mexican does not score 15-plus goals in the new campaign I will be very surprised indeed. All I can say is well done, West Ham!
How many Premier League goals will Hernandez score next season?
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