West Ham United fans should be overjoyed after what has been an exciting week for transfers for the London club.
Following last season’s disappointments, with the likes of Havard Nordtveit not performing and Dimitri Payet leaving in January, it was obvious to many that the Irons had to improve in all key areas. After the coups of Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta and Marko Arnautovic, in goal, defence and midfield respectively, it was a proven goal scorer that their team significantly lacked, and therefore potentially the best acquisition this week is that of Javier Hernandez.
Value for money
Firstly, the price of Hernandez should come as a shock to many. In a current climate where players are regularly going at over £20million, the £16M they’ve paid for him can only be considered good value.
For a player that has graced Manchester United and Real Madrid, as well as consistently scoring goals at all the clubs he’s played at, it begs the questions as to why other teams didn't bid more, but also, why they spent £24M on Arnautovic.
In comparison, Hernandez is considerably cheaper and brings with him a wealth of knowledge of the league, and a proven goal-scoring record. Whilst Arnautovic may go on to be a great signing, the mercurial could be considered bad value for money when placed alongside the bargain the Irons have got with Chicharito.
Hernandez is a proven goal scorer in not only Europe, but also the Premier League. Having scored 59 in 157 goals at Manchester United during a six-year spell under Sir Alex Ferguson, he went on to a short loan at Real Madrid followed by a transfer to Bayer Leverkusen where he subsequently scored 39 in 76.
For a little man, he gets most of his goals in the box, often climbing above defenders in the air or poaching goals with his rapid reflexes. Whilst West ham fans are used to an aerial threat, with the likes of Andy Carroll and Carlton Cole in recent times, this purchase will remind the older generations of Tony Cottee who regularly made great runs over short distances for maximum effect.
A criticism of Chicharito is that a lot of his goals come as an impact sub, and this is partly true at United where a lot of his goals for United came coming on in the latter half of games.
However, his time at Leverkusen suggests he can be the main man for a team, and Irons fans will be hoping this is the case as Carroll is often inured and the other option of Michail Antonio playing out of position is much less preferred. Whilst he’s not young at 29 his playing style is one that lends itself to working into the early thirties and this a promising signing if he can keep fit and in form.
Where does he fit in, and can he still perform in the Premier League?
It’s clear to see with the money that West Ham are spending they are hoping for a new look team next season. Too many players last season under performed and left both Slavan Bilic and fans exasperated and needing more.
With Hernandez however, they have a player notorious for hard work and his work-ethic was not unnoticed at United where he was a fan favourite. With his ability and natural try hard mentality he shall fit in perfectly at a club renowned for passion and grit. As a relatively small man, he shall please fans who have grown bored of West Ham’s predictable style as he shall be comfortable on the ball and offer a less direct brand of football.
As for his potential in the coming season, it would be fair to say that Hernandez shall outperform West Ham’s other new recruits. As a match winner and an exciting talent, he has all the potential to be one of the best strikers in the Premier League once again. In a transfer market where an unprecedented amount of money is being spent on strikers, West Ham have stolen the show with a bargain of a signing.