Hernandez’s World Cup displays show West Ham United he needs to play up front

When Javier Hernandez joined West Ham United, it is safe to say that fans were hoping that the Mexico international would be their goal machine.

Unfortunately for all those considered, it did not transpire, and the 30-year-old ended the 2017-18 season with eight goals in 28 Premier League matches.

Under the stewardship of former manager David Moyes, Hernandez was regularly shifted out to the wing.

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It became clear that the ex-Manchester United hitman was ineffective out wide, and as a result he dropped down the pecking order.

Hernandez’s future at the London Stadium remains unclear, but new boss Manuel Pellegrini should not be hasty, especially if he has watched the forward during the World Cup in Russia.

The former Bayer Leverkusen player has reached the last 16 of the tournament with Mexico, and he played a role in the progression as he started all three Group F matches.

Javier Hernandez group stage stats for Mexico

Hernandez may not have been the most prolific in the group phase as he netted one goal – in a 2-1 victory over South Korea – but he instantly showed that he is much more comfortable being the focal point of attack.

The former United star was positioned up front for every clash, which meant that he was less responsible for providing assists, and had more freedom to create attempts on goal.

Hernandez had seven shots during the group stage, and he also produced skill on the ball while trying to feed in his teammates.

Hirving Lozano will no doubt steal the headlines for Mexico if they progress through the knockout rounds, but Hernandez must have shown enough to attract the attention of the new West Ham boss.

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