West Ham United brought Javier Hernandez back to the Premier League in 2017 for £16million, but failed to see value for money in the Mexican before selling the striker to Sevilla two years later.
Hernandez had arrived at the London Stadium as Slaven Bilic sought to build a side capable of climbing back inside the top-half of the table following an 11th place finish, having already welcomed Marko Arnautovic and Joe Hart to the club.
A poor start to the season ultimately led to Bilic being sacked that November and replaced by David Moyes, but the change in leadership failed to inspire Hernandez to thrive in front of the net as he ended his debut campaign with just eight goals in all competitions.
Another change at the helm saw Manuel Pellegrini hired to replace Moyes but the Chilean likewise failed to spark a fire under the Mexican, who could not improve his numbers across the Premier League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup whilst seeing his starts reduce to a mere 17 games.
Yet unlike with Hernandez’s form, West Ham improved to climb up the Premier League standings to avoid a third season in succession of regression, and the decision was made to cash in amid interest from Sevilla in the summer of 2019.
The deal to sell Chicharito to the La Liga outfit saw the Irons lose almost £10m in transfer fees alone, with the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium natives paying just £7.2m for a player the Hammers had awarded a £140,000-per-week contract to, totalling £15.4m over his 110 weeks under contract.
The heavy hit to the accounts after a tepid record of 17 goals in 63 games for West Ham was proven right by Hernandez’s struggles in Spain, with the striker managing to fire home just three times before the Andalusian outfit agreed a deal with LA Galaxy worth $10m (£8m) in January.
Struggles have persisted in the 109-cap international’s game since moving to Major League Soccer, though, with Hernandez managing just one goal in 692 minutes of action to date while ostracising himself from the dressing room.
ESPN journalist Diego Cora reports Hernandez only speaks with players of his own nationality, likely just Jonathan dos Santos, while their fellow Galaxy teammates feel the 32-year-old considers himself to be a megastar.
“The players look at him from the side and he thinks he’s a megastar,” Cora said.
“When I was in Leverkusen, I had to cover him once, and many around the club said he was an ‘ego man’. In West Ham, they told me something similar and now the same thing. One of his teammates says that he thinks he is Cristiano Ronaldo.”
West Ham’s decision to accept a £24.2m hit for Hernandez would have been a hard pill to swallow, but the perfectly-timed deal with Sevilla removed a negative stimulus from the dressing room and one that has not flourished since securing pastures new.