West Ham United are believed to have turned their attentions to Javier Hernandez, as they step up their search for a prolific goalscorer.
The Hammers have been linked with numerous strikers already this summer, including Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud and Kelechi Iheanacho of Manchester City, with Slaven Bilic targeting a marquee signing to lead their attack. According to ESPN, the West Ham manager is weighing up a move for the former Manchester United hitman.
The Mexico international, affectionately known as ‘Chicharito’, currently plies his trade in the Bundesliga for Bayer Leverkusen. He has enjoyed a fruitful spell in Germany, where he has notched up 39 goals in 76 appearances. It is that goals-per-game ratio in one of the strongest leagues in Europe that appears to have caught the attention of Bilic.
West Ham largely struggled for goals last season as they limped to an 11th-placed Premier League finish. Andre Ayew and Andy Carroll both endured injury problems, as the Hammers found it difficult to adjust to life in the London Stadium. The Dimitri Payet saga also contributed to a toxic atmosphere at the club.
Hernandez was a popular figure during a five-year-spell at Old Trafford, despite failing to establish himself in the starting XI under Sir Alex Ferguson, David Moyes or Louis van Gaal. However, he is a natural goalscorer who thrives on service – a real fox in the box.
A predatory instinct in front of goal is a quality the Hammers have lacked in the past few seasons, so it is easy to see why Chicharito may be of significant interest to Bilic.
Considering he is in the final year of his contract at Leverkusen, the German outfit may be tempted to cash in on Hernandez now, rather than risk losing him for nothing next summer.