West Ham has announced the signing of Mexican international striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez from Bayer Leverkusen on Monday, adding a star player in attack which the Hammers have needed for quite some time.
Last season the team's highest goal scorer was winger Michael Antonio with nine, and the year before that was midfielder Dimitri Payet with 12. In fact the Hammers haven't had a striker score 15 goals in a season since Carlton Cole in 2011-12, so getting someone of Hernandez's caliber was a must.
But where does he rank among the top Premier League strikers?
Let's take a look. First, he's a mobile striker who can do a variety of things, but his bread and butter is inside 12 yards. He isn't a superstar, but he's a good striker and a poacher who should get you 15-20 goals a year if he starts most matches. He's averaged just under 10 goals per season for the majority of his career, but those include backup roles at Manchester United and Real Madrid. As a starter in his first season at Leverkusen, he had 26 goals.
Here are the top pure strikers when it comes to production over the last few seasons (Alexis Sanchez isn't a pure striker, and no I don't think No. 1 is better than Nos. 2 and 3)
- Harry Kane, Tottenham
- Sergio Aguero, Manchester City
- Romelu Lukaku, Everton/Manchester United
- Diego Costa, Chelsea
- Olivier Giroud, Arsenal
Alexandre Lacazette, who joined Arsenal from Lyon, is a much better player than Hernandez, and new Chelsea boy Alvaro Morata is also better. That would leave Hernandez around spot eight or nine with the likes of Jamie Vardy and Troy Deeney.
That position comes with the expectation of scoring around 15 goals per season, which the Hammers will need after an ugly 2016-17 campaign.