His goalscoring heroics for Real Madrid against Atletico Madrid in midweek have well and truly put Javier Hernandez back on the transfer map. Somewhat exiled at the Bernabeu, the Manchester United hit-man has become a forgotten character, but a timely reminder of what he does best – scoring goals – ahead of the summer transfer window may well have opened up possibilities for him.
One side sitting up and taking notice is West Ham, with reports claiming that the east London outfit are seriously considering a move for the 26-year-old. Although the ‘Little Pea’ is not in the Red Devils’ plans, he could be perfect for the Irons as they build for the future… and here are FIVE reasons why.
‘Chicharito’ may not be standout in any specific area, but he knows how to score goals. He’s not tall, not overly strong, not amazingly quick over the turf and he’s certainly not the sort of player to bring others into attacks, but put the ball in the six yard box, and he’ll somehow find a way to get it into the net. And, after all, scoring goals is the most important job on the football pitch!
Hernandez has a record of better than one goal in every two games for Mexico, averaged almost the same at Manchester United despite a largely ‘impact sub’ role and has even managed four goals in just over 400 minutes of La Liga action this season.
Building on the last point, Hernandez is much more dangerous that West Ham’s current options. Okay the stats (via Squawka) are comparing La Liga and the Premier League – although as two of the ‘top divisions’ in Europe, they should be on a par – and Hernandez is supported by the likes of Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo when called upon, but the numbers are still impressive.
Per 90 minutes, the Mexican nets 0.81 goals, making him almost twice as dangerous as Andy Carroll and significantly more deadly that top scorer, Diafra Sakho. A shot accuracy of 62% is also not to be sniffed at.
With Real Madrid having a clause to sign Hernandez for £7m, that would appear to be the benchmark figure for the 26-year-old. However, with Los Blancos set to reject the opportunity to draft him in, Manchester United will be stuck with a player entering the last year of his contract who will, most likely, be of little use to Louis van Gaal. As a result, West Ham could negotiate a better deal, and it would be no surprise to see him move on for a fee of far below £7m.
Although ‘Big Sam’ has moved away from ‘hoof-ball’ this season, the Hammers are still suited to a direct style of play. Getting the ball forward quickly is by no means an embarrassing way of playing, but many fans crave a more attractive short passing game, which Hernandez could suit. Although not a great passer of the ball, a lack of physical presence up front will cut off the option of the long ball, forcing the Irons to use their talented midfielders such as Mark Noble to thread neat passes.
Despite boasting an impressive record and always performing when called upon, Hernandez wasn’t ever really give a fair crack at Man United. So, given a chance to perform in the Premier League, ‘Chicharito’ would have the motivation of getting one over on his former employers, which could be the sort of fire needed to push him on to fulfil his potential. West Ham would surely benefit from this.