Javier Hernandez fitness update provides Lucas Perez with chance he has waited for

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According to West Ham United news site Claret & Hugh, Irons striker Javier Hernandez is going to be absent for the Carabao Cup tie against Macclesfield Town at the London Stadium on Wednesday night through illness, which should give Lucas Perez the opportunity he has been patiently waiting for.

What’s the word, then?

Well, the east London club signed Perez in a £4m deal from their neighbours from the capital Arsenal during the summer transfer window, but if the Spaniard, who earns £80,000-a-week according to Spotrac, expected to get more minutes than he did for the Gunners than he has been thoroughly disappointed so far.

Unsurprisingly, Marko Arnautovic has been the preferred lone striker with the likes of Andriy Yarmolenko, Felipe Anderson, Robert Snodgrass and Michail Antonio filling the roles out wide, which has largely left Perez consigned to the substitutes’ bench and limited time on the pitch.

The 30-year-old has played just 65 minutes of Premier League football so far this term – as well as 81 minutes in the opening round of the Carabao Cup against AFC Wimbledon – but he may well have found himself behind Hernandez in the pecking order for a start against League Two’s bottom club on Wednesday with Arnautovic surely going to be rested.

How big a chance is this for Perez?

It is a huge opportunity.

With Hernandez set to miss out as he continues to recover from a bout of glandular fever, the attacker may well be handed the striker spot by Manuel Pellegrini against Macclesfield.

The 30-year-old has had to be patient this season even though the team lost their opening four Premier League matches of the campaign, but he now has the chance to make his mark and not only put himself in contention for a start against Manchester United at the London Stadium on Saturday, but also push himself ahead of his Mexican teammate in Pellegrini’s striker pecking order.