Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez completed a deadline day move back to Spain from English club West Ham, signing a one-year deal for an undisclosed fee, reported to be £7.3m.
The 31-year old broke the hearts of many suitors from North America, Asia and the Middle East in the process, but it was a move that not only spoke of his passion to not play football in obscurity, but to keep his family happy.
The record goal scorer for the Mexican national side has been on the radar of Liga MX (Mexico) and MLS (USA) who were willing to shell out the cash for his signature, for a while as they monitored his situation at West Ham, a club which never fit him in the first place and that many followers of his career were surprised to see him move to in 2017/18 from Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
The most praiseworthy fact of this move is the big pay cut he had to take to be able to wear a Sevilla shirt this season, a grand gesture of total commitment to playing for the club and improving himself playing in a top-five league, prompting Sevilla’s sporting director Ramon “Monchi” Rodriguez to express his surprise at Chicharito’s gesture during the press conference which announced Chicharito as a Sevilla player.
Julen Lopetegui’s Sevilla have sharpened their attacking fangs with the acquisition of Chicharito, which they need as they have so far found it difficult to finish chances created in the past three match weeks of the 2019/20 season, something Chicharito is very well known for.
Javier Hernandez is a clinical goalscorer with poacher instincts (a large number of his career tally have been scored in the 18-yard and 6-yard box) due to his ability to “disappear and appear” in spaces behind and in front of a defender, where the ball would be at the end of an attack. He is not the best in defensive situations – in fact, he contributes almost nothing to a team’s defence – but his presence on the pitch is threatening for a lot of defenders. To keep him quiet most times, he is man-marked so as to prevent him from finding those pockets of space where he pokes home the ball for his team. He is also very good in the air, and very quick on his feet, possessing good technique with the ball.
Sevilla have started the season on a good note but there is still a lot left yet to be accounted for in the finishing department. Their two-nil win over Espanyol on the first day of the season doesn’t tell the full story of the match as Sevilla could have easily scored five goals in that tie, and from chances that could have been buried if players worked their way into good spaces.
This is where Chicharito comes in.
This deal has the potential to be Sevilla’s best deal in the summer transfer window because under Lopetegui, the side not only got overhauled, but now move the ball around a lot faster which can lead them to spend most of their time in the opposition’s half. Lopetegui favours counter attacks – as seen from his time as Spain coach and his short stint at Real Madrid – where the ball is released almost immediately into the path of a marauding forward to attack the opposition team’s goal. With a quick striker like Chicharito, many of these attacks have the potential of ending in goals.
Chicharito also brings along an excellent track record of 114 league goals in 267 league games, a great goal per minute ratio (the most prolific in the history of the English Premier League, in fact), and his most important quality – being a clutch striker who can get the goals in the biggest games. And with Sevilla’s new style under Lopetegui, he is sure to score double figures this season.
Chicharito is also the most marketable player in North America, making any club he plays for quite popular in those regions. The Bundesliga enjoyed a massive popularity boost especially when he was at Leverkusen and even though he has been away for three years, are still widely followed in Mexico. La Liga is already incredibly popular, but this deal is sure going to do wonders for Sevilla’s brand in the region.
We will be looking forward to all that he has to offer this season and beyond.