The smiling assassin with the schoolboy looks could well be signing for West Ham United this week in a £13 million deal, with the Hammer set to activate his release clause in his contract. Sam May takes a look at who they are getting and why they want him.
West Ham have been frustrated in their attempts to land their targets so far this summer with Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud, Chelsea’s Michy Batshuayi and Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho all linked with moves to the London Stadium, but they are optimistic of landing Hernández.
His looks hide his age and experience. At 29-years-old Hernandez as player brings a wealth of experience – and goals back to the premiership. Plucked from his home team Guadalajara in Mexico and thrust into the limelight, and pressure cooker of Old Trafford, he quickly became a fans favourite.
Injuries didn’t help his cause though. In his four playing years with the Red Devils he made 103 appearances, far too many as substitute, but still managed to register thirty-seven goals. That’s a goal every 3.5 games nevertheless.
He then went on a surprise load to Real Madrid for a year scoring seven times in twenty-three appearances, again a goal every three games. His permanent move to Beyer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga in 2015 rejuvenated him and his career. Twenty-eight goals in fifty-four appearances has shown a goal every two games- and it’s that which have triggered the Hammers to come calling.
Last season they took a “punt” on unknown and untried Premier league hopefuls Simeone Zaza, Gökhan Töre, Jonathan Calleri and Sofiane Feghouli, who? You might ask, exactly. Hernández scores goals. At less than 15 million – even with a hundred grand a week wages, he could be a real bargain if he continues on his goal every two games ratio.
A perfect foil for Andy Carroll expect him to make a larger than life impression for the Hammers this season.