- Premier League
- EFL Championship
- Other Top Clubs
- Scout Reports
West Ham United are scuffling to bring in new resources following a disappointing 2016-17 season. Slaven Bilic, the Croatian boss who guided them to achieve a place in Europa League qualifying rounds, failed to replicate similar outcome in his second season in charge as his new signings failed miserably for the Hammers.
Bilic made a number of attacking inclusions – but the likes of Sofiane Feghouli, Andre Ayew, Ashley Fletcher, Jonathan Calleri and Robert Snodgrass failed to leave a similar impact what Dimitri Payet did in his one and half year spell. West Ham suffered a shocking play-off exit against Romanian outfit Astra Giurgiu and finished 11th in the league with 45 points – 17 points lower than their 7th place finish during 2015-16 season.
The former West Ham defender has been handed another opportunity to turn their fortunes around like he did in his debut managerial season in English football and Bilic seems cautious before making a move for his preferred options. However, he is keen to add an upright goal-scorer who can add at least 15 goals to his tally. The Croatian was forced to play Michail Antonio in a make shift forward role and the Englishman proved to be their top scorer (with 8 goals) despite missing months of football with major hamstring injury.
Hitman Andy Carroll’s injury nightmare continued last season and the new signings failed to bag goals for the Hammers. Pablo Zabaleta, the former Manchester City right back, has been their only signing so far and the boss has has now shifted his focus on former Manchester United, Real Madrid and current Bayer Leverkusen forward Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez who is also being monitored by reigning Premier League champions Chelsea.
The 29-year old Mexican international is available for £13m and the Hammers must wrap up the deal before anyone else for a number of reasons.
Chicharito’s biggest strength is his finishing as he has consistently added goals to his name for years. He has netted 136 times in 346 outings throughout his club career and has also been Mexico’s biggest star for the past 8 years as he has scored 48 goals in 96 international appearances for his country. Although he is often criticized for low work rate and lack of offside awareness, Hernandez has great sense of positioning and despite being 5ft 9in only, he is lethal inside the box and is hailed for his movement.
He earned cult status among the Red Devils supporters for his impact within limited opportunities as he altered the fate of the game after coming off the bench. He netted 37 Premier League goals across 4 campaigns and also helped Manchester United win the league twice during ‘Fergie era’. Chicharito won’t take long to adjust in familiar circumstances and the Hammers must seize the opportunity to script his sensational return.
West Ham do have an interesting project and their new home ‘Olympic Stadium’ has handed them an opportunity to promote themselves as strong contenders for European football. But the Hammers have struggled to attract big names in Europe despite audacious bids and the departure of superstar Dimitri Payet has made things more complicated for Slaven Bilic. Signing Chicharito will be a statement to other stars who are uncertain of joining West Ham’s new venture and the Mexican’s arrival will help the Londoners build a squad around him.
Chicharito and Antonio will form a formidable attack for the Hammers and the Mexican can guide them to a European spot come end of the season.