West Ham have made four quality signings, says Shaka Hislop
Joe Hart and Javier Hernandez will give West Ham United a welcome boost at both ends of the pitch, says former Hammers favourite Shaka Hislop. Now a successful Premier League pundit in the United States, Hislop keeps a close eye on West Ham from the other side at the Atlantic, and has been hugely impressed with the business the Club has done in the transfer market. Speaking exclusively to whufc.com, the 2006 FA Cup finalist believes his former side can challenge for a place in the Premier League's top seven or eight if their stars align next season. "I'm looking forward to the season," he began. "I cannot remember a transfer window when West Ham made so many quality signings so early in the window, signings that all make the team better. "I was a little bit disappointed with last season but, with the teething issues around moving into the new stadium, it was understandable. However, I am delighted that the Club has stuck with Slaven Bilic and I am hoping he will be the manager of the team for a long time moving forward. "This transfer window has been a significant step forward because the Board said they wanted to get quality in, and that's exactly what they have done."
The captures of Mexico's all-time leading scorer Hernandez and fellow goalkeeper Hart have particularly enthused Hislop, who championed West Ham's move for the England stopper ahead of his season-long loan switch from Manchester City. "Of all the signings, I think Joe's is the most important for us," he observed. "I am biased in that regard but Joe ticks a number of boxes when it comes to signing a top-class goalkeeper. "He has the carrot of a World Cup 12 months away and, being aware that there is a pack of young goalkeepers eager to take his number one jersey, I am sure he will produce the performances that ensure he is England's first-choice at Russia 2018. "His qualities are there for everybody to see. Manchester City fans recognise his leadership qualities, both on the pitch and in the dressing room, which you miss when things are not going well. "Up front, Javier Hernandez is an instinctive finisher who will get you goals. He can be a streaky scorer but, when he is on form, he is almost impossible to stop. "It's going to be tough for West Ham to break into the Premier League's top six, but if any clubs are going to surprise those above them, it will be either West Ham or Everton, for me. "If things go well and the new signings slot in and the players avoid injuries, then I believe West Ham should be finishing in the top half and challenging for the top eight."
Dan Kemp relishing Slovakia tests
Winger Dan Kemp believes the intense training camp organised for the U23s will prepare them in the best possible way ahead of a long season. Kemp scored the winner in the team's 2-1 victory over Dagenham and Redbridge on Saturday before the young Hammers jetted off to Slovakia a day later. Terry Westley's players face two matches in Eastern Europe, the first being against Spartak Trnava on Tuesday evening (18.30 BST), and Kemp believes the upcoming tests will prove vital when the regular season begins. "To go away, it breaks the pre-season up a little bit. It's nice to go and experience different scenery," he said. "It will be very hard out there because we're playing against two very good teams and we'll be training very hard to get ready for a long season." "But all the boys are looking forward to the trip. It'll be great for bonding as well, and hopefully we can pick up some good things in Slovakia."
Kemp's winner in the triumph over the Daggers last weekend earned the youngsters their first victory of pre-season. It will be very hard out there because we're playing against two very good teams and we'll be training very hard to get ready for a long season.
The Hammers took the lead in the first half after a neat finish from Jahmal Hector-Ingram but were harshly pegged back late in the second after a penalty drew the hosts level.
However, the U23s superiority over the course of the 90 minutes was rewarded in the dying embers after Kemp's composed finish.
"It was a great feeling," Kemp admitted. "Obviously it was very late in the game so to come up with a winning goal and to celebrate in front of our fans was brilliant.
"It was a great win and good performance from the boys. We played to our philosophy and moved the ball really well. We created a lot of chances and, to be fair, it probably should have been more comfortable than it was. But the most important thing is that we played well and it's also nice to get the win.
Kemp's progression over the last 12 months has seen him go from being a regular in the U18s to a Dylan Tombides Award nominee, and eventually to an England youth international.
But the youngster remains grounded as he prepares for another crucial season in his development.
"Last season was great but I've now put that behind me and now it's time to keep on progressing and do even better this year. I need to make sure I cement a place in the U23s team and do the things I was doing last year even better.
"I think my plan is to stay here and fight for my place in the U23s and hopefully I can do really well again and then we'll see where it goes from there."
Hammers boss Bilic hails Hernandez signing
West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has revealed Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez's move to east London was the result of two years of hard work and patience.
Bilic, who hailed the Board after West Ham completed the signing of Mexico's all-time leading marksman on Monday, explained how he initially tried to bring Hernandez to the Club following his appointment in summer 2015.
However, the 29-year-old opted to join German club Bayer Leverkusen, where he continued his prolific ways before agreeing to join forces with Bilic earlier this week.
"I am happy that the deal is complete as it's a great signing for us," the manager told whufc.com. "I spoke to him a couple of seasons ago when I joined West Ham, when he was at Manchester United and they wanted to sell him.
"I wanted him but then he opted for Leverkusen, but we have had a good relationship since then. So when the opportunity comes now after the season and I found out he could be available, then I called him and he was happy straight away.
"From two years ago until now we had the same conversation, so it helped, of course. There were a few other clubs interested but we are delighted he opted for us."
When asked to name the attributes the former Manchester United striker will bring to his team, Bilic reeled off a long list of qualities that will undoubtedly boost the Hammers – as will his fellow new boys Pablo Zabaleta, Joe Hart and Marko Arnautovic.
"He brings energy, makes movement up front and he brings running behind the defence, he brings pace, he brings quality and he brings goals and that's it, basically!" Super Slav smiled. "He is proven in the Premier League. It's very important that we signed him.
"We have got four players in and all of them know the Premier League. Although Joe Hart was in Italy last season, he knows the league, as does Chicharito who was at Man United. So it's important that they don't need to get to know the league.
"We are delighted with all four signings."
After identifying the need to target quality over quantity this summer, Bilic hailed the Board for delivering on his request, with four would-be starters arriving since the start of the month.
"We were working on these three transfers but we didn't talk about them," the Croatian continued. "We worked on them and all three of them we made, which is a great achievement for the Club and for the Board to have done all those deals. We've done them quite early, so we've done the job, basically.
"Now, something else can happen, if someone goes then someone will come in, but the majority of the team and squad are set.
"It's exactly what I said at the end of last season – we didn't need squad players unless someone goes out, then someone comes in. We needed players who are going to improve our game and our first eleven, by that I mean our first 14, 15 or 16 players who are there, and these four players are exactly that.
"All of them are at a good age and all of them are very hungry and very, very motivated and have something to prove so, on paper, it looks very promising and optimistic."
Javier Hernandez potentially West Ham's best ever signing, says David Sullivan
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 25/07/17 1:07pm
West Ham joint-chairman David Sullivan believes Javier Hernandez could be one of the best players ever to have signed for the club. The Hammers on Monday completed what could be one of the deals of the summer, landing the former Manchester United and Real Madrid striker for £16m from Bayer Leverkusen.
Mexico international Hernandez has agreed a three-year contract at the London Stadium to end manager Slaven Bilic's search for a proven goalscorer. And Sullivan told talkSPORT: "I think he is potentially the best player who has ever come to the club. "In recent years, he is probably the best-proven goalscorer we have signed since we have been at the club. "He's done it in the Premier League with Manchester United. We were lucky he only had a year left on his contract with his club and that allows you to negotiate a deal. "We tried very hard to get him two years ago but unfortunately he chose the German club ahead of us."
West Ham have also brought in Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta and Marko Arnautovic this summer, but Sullivan played down a potential move for Arsenal's Jack Wilshere.
"We are very optimistic with the four players we have signed, we think they will make a huge difference," he added. "I can't comment on players from other clubs but what I would say is midfield is not a position we are looking for. "We have a lot of good midfielders at the club, but never say 'never'."
Javier Hernandez relishing West Ham season opener at Man Utd
By Lyall Thomas
Last Updated: 25/07/17 10:02am
Javier Hernandez says he cannot wait to face his former club Manchester United on the opening weekend of the new Premier League season. The Mexico striker has joined West Ham on a three-year deal from Bayer Leverkusen, who signed him from United for £7.3m in 2015. Hernandez - who returns to Old Trafford for Sky Sports' first Super Sunday bill of 2017/18 - admits he was "desperate" to return to the Premier League and wants to repay West Ham boss Slaven Bilic for making consistent efforts to sign him. "I think I will be a little bit more excited than my team-mates to be back at Old Trafford," he said. "To start the season with my new team there is important and I will be happy to be there. "I was desperate to come back to the best league in the world. It will help me a lot to improve as a player and person. We want to fight to aim for the Europa competitions. "Slaven Bilic was a massive part of why I joined. Since I joined Bayer Leverkusen he wanted me, he spoke with me. He did everything he could to bring me here but couldn't for a lot of reasons and now I am here I want to repay him. "My aim is to give my best, to try to give back all the confidence and support from my manager and the board, and help my team get as far as we can this season. "You can see in this window they've spent very well on good players because we want to be better compared to the last season." Hernandez spent six seasons at Manchester United after being signed by Sir Alex Ferguson, scoring 59 goals in 157 appearances for the club.
Why Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez can be West Ham's baby-faced assassin
For a man with movie star looks, Javier Hernandez must still prove he is a genuine leading man in the Premier League. West Ham's new £16million striker has played for both Manchester United and Real Madrid, is the top goalscorer in Mexico's history, and has starred for Bayer Leverkusen for the last two seasons, but even his nickname hints a player waiting in the wings. Hernandez is affectionately known as 'Chicharito' - the 'Little Pea' to green-eyed father and former El Tri international Javier 'Chicaro' Hernandez - not exactly a moniker to induce fear in defenders' hearts. But in a bloated transfer market where Manchester United have paid north of £75million for a regular goalscorer Romelu Lukaku, the 29-year-old may just prove to be the rarest of things - value for money. Hernandez now has the first-choice Premier League role he always craved at Old Trafford, and the chance to prove he can be more than just a super sub to Europe's elite.
Jose Mourinho admitted that if he been United boss instead of Louis van Gaal in 2015, Chicharito would not have been sold - a fair point given that for for all of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's 28 goals last season, the Red Devils badly lacked a poacher as they laboured to sixth with 10 home draws. Mourinho will see Hernandez in action in United's first game of the season as the Hammers make the trip north to Old Trafford on August 13, with the striker due to make his Hammers bow in front of what will be a hugely appreciative United crowd. Chicharito appeared to be the perfect signing for Sir Alex Ferguson's squad back in 2010, winning the coveted Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award from the United fans as he scored 20 goals in all competitions in his debut United season. He was a striking cliche - always in the right place at the right time - with his first competitive goal for the club a comical Charity Shield effort he somehow scuffed off his own chest into the net while falling over. The south American's infectious enthusiasm and million-dollar smile were the icing on the cake for the merchandising money-making machine United were becoming. But his open manner also helped to mask a true predatory instinct, more six-yard shark than fox in the box as he flashed defenders a set of pearly whites before ghosting away to celebrate a scuffed finish. A natural poacher with a knack for the odd surprise, his stunning backwards header against Stoke in 2010 lives long in the memory for many a United supporter.
For the Old Trafford faithful, it was the second coming of the 'Baby-Faced Assassin' Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. But while Solskjaer was content with his role as a United super sub - with a 1999 Champions League Final-winning goal from the bench defining his career - Hernandez needed more, and was left disappointed. He never bettered his first-season tally at United, and netted just four league goals during David Moyes' ill-fated 2013-14 spell. The forward's trademark beaming smile turned to a scowl as he struggled for minutes and goals, and a loan move to Real Madrid worked for all parties in 2014. Hernandez again faltered at the Bernabeu as he failed to displace Real's Galacticos. Despite a decent run-in and public pleas for a permanent home, Hernandez failed to convince Los Blancos he was the real deal. His exit from United and unsuccessful push for a Madrid move suggested that in the eyes of football's ruthless elite, he a player that they can afford to live without. Hernandez wins fans and helps to boost shirt sales, but as James Rodriguez also found out at Madrid, he has the air of the boy-next-door you'd gladly see marry into your family - one to love, not to fear. He returned to Old Trafford in the summer of 2015, and was duly sold to Bayer Leverkusen for around £7m - a steal given the rapidly inflating transfer market, and a move which kickstarted his career. Hernandez left the Solskjaer super-sub tag behind at Leverkusen, netting 17 Bundesliga goals and 26 in total for Leverkusen - his highest ever tally for a single campaign. He hit another 11 in 2016-17 but Leverkusen limped to a 12th-placed finish. If a move to east London initially appears to be a step down, the summer exits of Hakan Calhanoglu, Omer Topak and Kyriakos Papadopolous suggest Hernandez is getting out before things become terminal at the BayArena. That has allowed West Ham to make their move and finally land the reliable striker they have needed for years.
In Slaven Bilic, Hernandez will have the right manager. Chicharito responds well to an Fergie-esque arm around the shoulder, so it was no surprise to see him exit Old Trafford soon after Van Gaal and Ryan Giggs' infamous knowing stare following a penalty miss against Club Brugge in 2015. Mourinho's suggestion that Bilic's men are potential title rivals may prove to be a little far-fetched, but Hernandez said he was "desperate" to join the club after seeing their ambitious transfer moves this summer. Following on from Pablo Zabaleta, Joe Hart and Marko Arnautovic, Hernandez is yet another astute signing as West Ham seek to reshape their identity as another 'historic' club reliving past glories. The Hammers have had problems settling in at London Stadium, but Chicharito will boost the club's profile in the US and South America while offering match-going fans a thrilling presence to boost the atmosphere - and an outlet for the likes of Manuel Lanzini, Arnautovic and Michail Antonio. The partnership is also one that West Ham and Hernandez both crucially need. Many players and coaches rightly welcome the adoration of fans, but the elite need to be loathed - Cristiano Ronaldo thrived on the whistles of the English crowds as it confirmed him as the most dangerous man on the pitch. There is a well-known Manchester United fan banner on display at games which reads: "Hated, adored, never ignored". For too long West Ham - like Hernandez - have been adored by a vocal fanbase, but too easy to ignore in the wider game. A match-winner for Chicharito at Old Trafford would help the Little Pea and his new club earn a little more of that much-needed hatred.
Dimitri Payet is a flawed individual, he will never fulfil his potential, says West Ham's David Sullivan
West Ham co-owner David Sullivan has branded Dimitri Payet "a flawed individual" who will never fulfil his potential or be signed by "big clubs." Payet joined a stellar debut season with West Ham but demanded to be sold halfway through his second campaign after being disillusioned with the club's fight against relegation. A January move back to Marseille for £25million was agreed after Payet refused to play for the Hammers, with Sullivan then going public with his preference to have "made an example of him." Six months on and Sullivan has reiterated his stance but says Slaven Bilic's insistence that Payet be removed led to the sale, and says the player's behaviour has held him back throughout his career. "We knew Dimitri was flawed, and that's why we got him for £10.5million," Sullivan told talkSPORT. "It was a fantastic buy, but we knew we bought a flawed individual and someone who could well go on strike – he had done it all before.
"That's why he never reached his full potential as a player and why big clubs have steered clear of him. But, I've got to say he was a fantastic servant for the club. He gave us 18 wonderful months, particularly the first 12 months. "We didn't want to sell him but we got around two and half times what we paid for him and you've got to say it's good business. It's not what we wanted but, as a club like West Ham, sometimes we have to sell. "We wouldn't have sold him unless we had to. We had meeting after meeting with him - he wanted out and the manager wanted him out. He didn't want to have an unhappy camp. "Personally, I would have made him stick it out for six months and given him a hard time, but if the manger says he's unsettling the whole camp, you've got to support the manager."
Slaven Bilic's two-year wait pays off as West Ham finally land Javier Hernandez
Javier Hernandez has promised to repay the faith shown in him by West Ham manager Slaven Bilic following his £16million move from Bayer Leverkusen. The 29-year-old former Manchester United star has signed a three-year deal and will join up with the rest of the squad in Germany this week. Bilic's perseverance has paid off but two years ago, when the player they call 'Chicharito' left Manchester United, bids of £9m and then £12m were not enough to complete a deal. This summer both co-chairman David Sullivan and Bilic have again worked hard to persuade Hernandez to join and the Mexico striker acknowledged their efforts. "Slaven Bilic was a massive influence on me signing," he said. "Since I joined Bayer Leverkusen he has wanted me, he spoke with me, he tried to do everything he could to bring me here but it was impossible for a lot of reasons. Now I am here though, I am going to be his player and I want to give him back that confidence and try to do my best to make him happy. I am grateful for all the support I have received in the last few days from the manager and from the directors of this club."
Hernandez has scored consistently throughout his career, netting 59 goals in just over four seasons at Manchester United, nine in 33 on loan at Real Madrid and 39 in 76 matches for Leverkusen. He is Mexico's top scorer with 48 goals. He is the fourth signing of the summer following the arrivals of Pablo Zabaleta, Joe Hart and Marko Arnautovic. Hernandez told the West Ham website: "I will be in best league in the world, I am going to have this challenge, which will push me as a player. You can see in this window they have spent very well with good players to achieve a lot this season. "I want to show my best. It's about goals to make all the fans, all my team-mates and all the staff very happy that I am here. My main goal is to make them happy and make them to not want me to leave this club."
Hernandez will return to Old Trafford with West Ham on the opening weekend of the new season. He said: "Of course I will be very happy to go back there and play, and try to win! Hopefully I can do as well in that stadium for West Ham as I did when I played for United."
West Ham United FA Cup heroes to unite for Great Yarmouth meet and greet
PUBLISHED: 14:24 25 July 2017 | UPDATED: 14:24 25 July 2017 David Hannant
They have all scored FA Cup winning goals for West Ham United at Wembley Stadium. However, this October, Sir Trevor Brooking, Alan Taylor and Ronnie Boyce will gain another thing in common - an appearance in Great Yarmouth. The trio of former footballers will be appearing alongside fellow ex-Hammer Alvin Martin at an event at Britannia Pier Theatre, which will have the audience forever blowing bubbles. The group will reflect on their careers and times at Boleyn Ground, also known as Upton Park, where the Hammers played their home games before moving to the London Stadium. They will also be recalling the club's glory days, which saw them claim FA Cup victories in 1964, 1975 and 1980. A limited number of VIP meet and greet tickets to the evening - on Friday, October 27 - are also available. Tickets are priced between £25 and £40 and are available by calling 01493 842209.
Sofiane Feghouli's West Ham future takes another twist during pre-season tour of Germany
West Ham transfer news includes an update on the future of Sofiane Feghouli, who has been linked with a move to Galatasaray this summer
13:30, 25 JUL 2017UPDATED13:31, 25 JUL 2017
Doubts continue to surround the future of Sofiane Feghouli at West Ham as he has travelled to the Hammers training camp. The Algerian was a noted absentee among the morning session despite being with the team here in Bothel. However, football.london can reveal that Feghouli is suffering from an undisclosed injury which is the reason why he isn't training right now. It could also be a problem if the winger is set to be sold by the Hammers as it's unlikely he'd currently pass a medical at any new club. Galatasaray have made a bid for Feghouli which was rejected and French club Rennes have also expressed an interest in signing the former Valencia wideman. Feghouli is one of the highest earners at the club on an apparent £80,000 a week and after an inconsistent season last time out, West Ham are tempted to cash in.
In other injury news, Diafra Sakho has travelled to Germany but is training away from the main group, while Andy Carroll and Michail Antonio have remained in England to continue their rehabilitation.
West Ham United aiming 'to win three trophies' after summer spending spree, co-chairman David Sullivan tells talkSPORT
David Sullivan: The West Ham co-owner (left) joined Jim White on talkSPORT
By talkSPORT - @talkSPORT
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
David Sullivan has challenged West Ham's new signings to win silverware and take the club to the next level - with the joint-chairman saying belief and luck is key to a successful season. The Hammers have had a busy seven days in the transfer window, signing Joe Hart, Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez from Manchester City, Stoke and Bayer Leverkusen respectively. England goalkeeper Hart arrived on loan, while they spent around £40m for the latter two, breaking their transfer record in the process. The east Londoners will be hoping to improve on last season's 11th-placed finish in the Premier League, while they suffered early exits from the FA Cup and Europa League. "I think you need a bit of luck with injuries," Sullivan told Jim White on talkSPORT, before going on to offer his backing to Slaven Bilic. "At the moment, Mr [Diafra] Sakho is 100% good and that would make a huge difference to the season. "The manager is a good manager, he just needs a bit of luck. We need a bit of luck with results and refereeing decisions. "It is very tough to get into that top seven, and Everton have spent a fortune. The top four have really spent huge money. The Man United manager [Jose Mourinho] was building us up [recently] because he wants to say 'we are playing a tough team in our first game'! "After Leicester [won the league in 2015/16], it is possible. I realise the supporters say we won't do this and that, but we start the season in three [competitions] and the ambition is to win those three trophies. "I know it is very, very unlikely we will do that – and any one of them would please the board – but you have to think you can win anything and on our day we can beat anybody."
While Sullivan accepts the Premier League title is a long shot, the former Birmingham City chief would like to see his side go on a run in other competitions - with a little help from the luck of the draw. "Leicester was something we all thought could not happen, but they showed it can happen. I'd settle to win a cup…and I'd love to go to Wembley and win a cup. "Last year [in the EFL Cup] we beat Chelsea at home then got Man United away in the next round, I mean you are not going to win anything with draws like that. Then we get Man City in the third round of the FA Cup, Arsenal get non-league teams! "We have been very unlucky with the draws - we get away draws - Arsenal get more home draws than any other team I've seen. We are due an easy, easy cup draw."
EXCLUSIVE - West Ham chief David Sullivan on Dimitri Payet: 'We knew we were signing a flawed individual'
Dimitri Payet returned to Marseille after falling out with the manager and squad at West Ham
By talkSPORT - @talkSPORT
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
West Ham's joint-chairman David Sullivan has told talkSPORT the club knew what they were getting when they signed troublemaker midfielder Dimitri Payet. Payet was undoubtedly one of the most talented players to pull on a Hammers shirt in recent years following his £10.5million arrival from Marseille in 2015. The playmaker quickly become a fan-favourite with nine goals and 12 assists in his debut season and went on to star for France at the Euro 2016 finals. But his relationship with West Ham soon turned sour, and the player forced a move back to France 18 months later after falling out with manager Slaven Bilic and a number of his team-mates. Speaking to talkSPORT host Jim White, Sullivan opened up about Payet's unceremonious exit and admitted the club was aware he came with baggage, although still hailed him as a 'fantastic servant' during his short stay.
"We knew Dimitri was flawed, and that's why we got him for £10.5million," said the Hammers chief. "It was a fantastic buy, but we knew we bought a flawed individual and someone who could well go on strike – he had done it all before. "That's why he never reached his full potential as a player and why big clubs have steered clear of him. "But, I've got to say he was a fantastic servant for the club. He gave us 18 wonderful months, particularly the first 12 months. "We didn't want to sell him but we got around two and half times what we paid for him and you've got to say it's good business. "It's not what we wanted but, as a club like West Ham, sometimes we have to sell. "We wouldn't have sold him unless we had to. We had meeting after meeting with him - he wanted out and the manager wanted him out. He didn't want to have an unhappy camp. "Personally, I would have made him stick it out for six months and given him a hard time, but if the manger says he's unsettling the whole camp, you've got to support the manager."
Javier Hernandez suggests West Ham boss Slaven Bilic was major factor behind move
West Ham United have pulled off what appears to be arguably one of the best deals of the transfer window so far, signing Javier Hernandez. Javier Hernandez has suggested that Slaven Bilic's desire to bring him to West Ham played a key role in convincing him to make the switch to the London Stadium, Sky Sports reports.
Hernandez became the Hammers' latest signing of the window - joining the likes of Pablo Zabaleta, Joe Hart and Marko Arnautovic in making the switch this summer - with Sky Sports reporting that he has signed a three-year deal. And Hernandez has disclosed that the Irons boss' attempts to sign him over a sustained period of time helped persuade the 29-year-old to swap Bayer Leverkusen for another crack at the Premier League. "Slaven Bilic was a massive part of why I joined. Since I joined Bayer Leverkusen he wanted me, he spoke with me. He did everything he could to bring me here but couldn't for a lot of reasons and now I am here I want to repay him," he said, as reported by Sky Sports. With the Mexican's record throughout his career so impressive, it is arguably a fantastic statement of intent from West Ham to be the ones to bring him back to England two years after his move away from Manchester United. Landing a player of his quality and reputation must surely have an impact on how easy it will be to convince some of their other targets to make the same move during the remaining weeks of the window. And if Hernandez is capable of replicating the strike-rates he had at Manchester United and at Bayer Leverkusen once the season gets up and running, then perhaps that will also boost the club's ability to show further ambition in future windows.
Javier Hernandez should offer West Ham plenty of goals... but the Mexican may struggle to replicate deadly form of his early Manchester United years
West Ham have completed the £16m signing of Hernandez from Leverkusen
Mexican striker's arrival at the London Stadium has generated excitement
Hernandez is best remembered for three goal-packed seasons at Man United
But he lost his scoring touch once Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013
His first season at Leverkusen was a success, but a slump quickly followed
By Adam Shergold for MailOnline
PUBLISHED: 05:55 EDT, 25 July 2017 | UPDATED: 05:55 EDT, 25 July 2017
After such a miserable recent track record with strikers, it's little wonder West Ham fans have greeted the arrival of Javier Hernandez with great excitement.
Astonishingly, 20 of the 32 forwards signed during the David Gold and David Sullivan era at the club have failed to score more than three goals in claret and blue.
But surely Hernandez - the 29-year-old Mexico international signed for £16million from Bayer Leverkusen this week - cannot fail like so many of his predecessors?
The perception of Hernandez - or 'Chicharito' ('little pea') as he is more commonly known - is of an old-fashioned goal poacher of a centre-forward. Unfailingly in the right place at the right time, dependable, a baby-faced assassin. He sounds precisely what West Ham manager Slaven Bilic needs to avoid another depressing brush with relegation as occurred last season before an eventual climb to an 11th-place finish. The image of Hernandez in the minds of most Premier League followers upon his return to these shores is of the deadly impact sub who made a big impression as a second or third-choice striker at Manchester United in the final years of Sir Alex Ferguson's tenure. Hernandez, then 22, quickly established favour at Old Trafford, scoring 20 goals in all competitions in the 2010-11 campaign and 12 the following year. But actually in his first two seasons, Hernandez started more Premier League and European matches in the team than on the bench, only reverting to that impact sub role when Robin van Persie arrived in 2012.
Yet strangely, though the Dutchman's signing knocked Hernandez down the pecking order, he responded with 18 goals in 36 matches - his best goals-per-minute return given the more limited opportunity. Nobody remembers Hernandez for scoring spectacular strikes from distance. He was more of an Ole Gunnar Solskjaer figure, snaffling up chances from in and around the six-yard box. But, more often than not, they were significant goals. Ones that earned United three points in a tricky away league fixture, or helped drag them through the sometimes torturous group stage of the Champions League. It is this Hernandez that West Ham supporters hope they are getting - someone at ease in the rough and tumble of the Premier League, snatching important goals. It surely stands to reason that if he receives greater game time, as he should with the Hammers, that goal return will only increase. But what is conveniently forgotten is that Hernandez lost his way at Old Trafford as soon as Ferguson retired.
David Moyes didn't see the value in him and his game time plunged during the ill-fated 2013-14 campaign, where he wasn't trusted either in the Premier League or the Champions League, just getting 15 minutes here and there. Louis van Gaal had a similar opinion, and Hernandez was loaned to Real Madrid in 2014. Again, he spent more time on the bench than on the field, scoring nine times in 33 appearances. His one decisive contribution was an 88th-minute winner to sink city rivals Atletico in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, but his reward was to be benched again for the semi with Juventus. It was only after his £7.3m transfer to Bayer Leverkusen in the summer of 2015, after Van Gaal confirmed he was surplus to requirements, that Hernandez rediscovered his scoring knack. Adjusting instantly to the rigours of the Bundesliga, and rewarded with a fixed starting place for the first time, Hernandez plundered 26 goals in 43 games across all competitions. But it wouldn't last. Despite plenty of minutes last season, he only managed 13 goals and endured a frustrating time also punctuated by injury.
HERNANDEZ RECORD PER SEASON IN LEAGUE MATCHES
Season Club Games played Minutes played Goals Assists Minutes/goal Total shots Shot conversion %
2010-11 Manchester United 27 1486 13 1 114 54 24.07
2011-12 Manchester United 28 1476 10 2 148 47 21.28
2012-13 Manchester United 22 948 10 3 95 44 22.73
2013-14 Manchester United 24 839 4 3 210 21 19.05
2014-15 Real Madrid 23 859 7 4 123 30 23.33
2015-16 Bayer Leverkusen 28 2173 17 2 128 64 26.56
2016-17 Bayer Leverkusen 26 1815 11 3 165 52 21.15
So it is on this low note that Hernandez arrives at the London Stadium - last season was his worst return in terms of shot conversion and minutes-per-goal since the Moyes era at United. Although this won't affect West Ham next season, he has scored just once in his last 11 European outings. Four games in this summer's Confederations Cup for Mexico yielded just one goal. This recent slump in form has led some to wonder if, at the age of 29, Hernandez has already peaked. What else does he have to offer? The good news for West Ham is that he is tried and tested in the Premier League and will be eager to hit the ground running when he returns to Old Trafford on the opening weekend.
But the last few years have shown up inconsistencies in his scoring record despite increased playing time, and is he going to get the same amount of service as at United and Leverkusen? The only sides that enjoyed fewer touches in the opposition box last season than West Ham were West Brom and Burnley. Hernandez will likely have to adapt his game to this reduced service and may find himself tracking back more hunting down the ball. While most expect Hernandez to fall into the small category of West Ham striker success stories, it remains to be seen whether he can scale those heights of his early United years.
West Ham co-chairman Sullivan talks Hernandez, Wilshere, Payet and two more signings
WEST HAM co-chairman David Sullivan has opened up on the club's promising summer transfer business.
By JACK STAPLEHURST
PUBLISHED: 10:37, Tue, Jul 25, 2017 | UPDATED: 11:20, Tue, Jul 25, 2017
The Hammers confirmed the arrival of their fourth new addition last night as ex-Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez was signed for £16million. Chicharito joins Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta and Marko Arnautovic at the London Stadium. And while Sullivan is delighted with how West Ham have managed to secure such experienced players after a poor window last year, he is not finished yet. "We're holding our mouths open and we can't believe what's going on," Sullivan told talkSPORT. "We've been working very long and very hard, eight days ago we had one deal in the bag. "We happened to pull three together in a week. But these deals take forever, and they are getting harder and harder with the demands of the player and the demands of the club. "We had a policy up to now to buy players for now, not tomorrow. "We made a decision with the manager to buy players proven in the Premier League, who've been here before and are of an age where they're not being bought for tomorrow but today. "Long term it's not a great strategy, but short term it is. "Hopefully we'll buy one or two more players, make investments in the future, while at the same time doing what's best for the club."
Hernandez specifically has been hailed as a top signing at £16m in an expensive transfer market. And Sullivan has seriously high hopes for the 29-year-old. The co-owner added: "He's potentially the best player that's ever come to the club. "He's the best proven goalscorer we've signed since being here. He's done it at Manchester United, and he's the most lovely, lovely person, and he's really looking forward to it. We were lucky to get him with one year left. We tried two years ago but he chose Germany [with Bayer Leverkusen]. "[We had to decide] do you sign him three weeks go for €20m or now for €16m? We still have £100m in debt but we're trying to get the best value for the club."
One of West Ham's other biggest signings in recent years was Dimitri Payet. His Hammers career ended unceremoniously in January as he forced through a return to Marseille. And Sullivan opened up further, admitting the club knew the France international had baggage before they signed him in 2015. "We knew Dimitri was flawed, thats why we got him for £10.5m, we knew we bought a flawed individual, Sullivan said. "We knew he could go on strike. It's why he never reached his full potential. "He was a fantastic servant for the club. We didn't want to sell him but we got two and a half times what we paid for him. "We had meeting after meeting, he wanted out, the manager wanted him out. i would have made him stick it out for six months but the manager said he was upsetting the club."
With this summer's business proving far more effective, more faces are possible. Arsenal ace Jack Wilshere has been linked with a move, and Sullivan did not rule out a potential deal. "I can't comment on players from other clubs but all I can say is midfield is not a position we're looking at - but never say never." Ahead of the new season, West Ham fans would be forgiven for being optimistic of potentially securing a return to European football. But for the Hammers to break back in to the top seven under Slaven Bilic, Sullivan admitted they need some luck. He said: "You need a bit of luck with injuries you need a bit of luck with injuries. Diafra Sakho is now 100% good. "The manager is a very good manager, but we need luck with injuries, results and refereeing decisions. "The likes of Man Utd, Man City have really spending big money. "But after Leicester, it's possible. Supporters are cautious but we start the season in the business to win three trophies. "On our day we can give anyone a tough time. The Spurs win last season showed that. "In the League Cup we beat Chelsea at home then had Man Utd away. We've been unlucky with the draw. We're due an easy cup draw."
West Ham transfer news: Javier Hernandez taunted by Simon Jordan after making Hammers move
WEST HAM have been taunted by former Premier League chairman Simon Jordan after signing Javier Hernandez.
By JACK WILSON
PUBLISHED: 10:09, Tue, Jul 25, 2017 | UPDATED: 11:06, Tue, Jul 25, 2017
The news was revealed by the Hammers last night with co-chairman David Gold tweeting: "I am thrilled to announcing the signing of Mexico striker Javier Hernandez for a fee of £16m on a three-year deal. Welcome Chicharito. dg"
Former Hammer Dean Ashton responded: "That David is fantastic business. Proper penalty box predator!"
But the reply was mocked by Jordan, the ex-owner of Crystal Palace. He tweeted Ashton back and said: "So sought after that he ended up at #whufc ... hmmmm."
Hernandez, 29, has signed a three-year deal to become the Hammers' fourth new arrival of the summer. Hernandez has previous experience of playing in the English top-flight, having netted 59 goals for Manchester United during a five-year spell at Old Trafford. And Hernandez, also a former Real Madrid loanee, admitted the chance to return to England was too good to turn down. He told the club's official website: "I am very happy to join West Ham United. "For me, the Premier League is the best league in the world and when the opportunity came, I was desperate to sign for this club. "It was not a difficult decision. West Ham is an historic club, and very ambitious - this summer you can see with the players signed that they are looking to have a very good season. "I've had three fantastic years playing in Spain and Germany, but England was really the first big chapter in my career and I am so happy to be back. Known as 'Chicharito', Hernandez follows Pablo Zabaleta, Joe Hart and Marko Arnautovic to the Olympic Stadium during this transfer window. He will bolster a strike force that was depleted towards the end of last season, with injuries to Andy Carroll and Diafra Sakho leaving boss Slaven Bilic with just on-loan Jonathan Calleri to choose from in attack. Hammers joint-chairman David Sullivan said: "We are delighted to welcome Javier as the latest fantastic addition to the West Ham United squad. "Following the arrivals of Pablo Zabaleta, Joe Hart and Marko Arnautovic, he is another top-class professional who brings great experience and quality to the club. "He has a proven goalscoring record in the Premier League, LaLiga and the Bundesliga, as well in the UEFA Champions League and at international level with Mexico. "We now have some fantastic options in attacking positions and, like all West Ham fans, I am looking forward to seeing Javier score goals in a claret and blue shirt next season."