West Ham have dropped a very strong hint that Javier Hernandez will be at the club next season after announcing he would be taking the number nine shirt.
His switch from 17 to nine was announced on the official West Ham Twitter page on Wednesday morning.
Andy Carroll wore the number nine shirt last season but is currently without a club after his contract expired on July 1.
West Ham also announced that Andriy Yarmolenko would be taking the number seven shirt vacated by Marko Arnautovic after his move to China.
New shirt number for Chicha… 9??! pic.twitter.com/MICPnP8zVA
— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) July 10, 2019
West Ham have reportedly failed in their bid to bring Maxi Gomez to east London this summer and Carroll, Lucas Perez and Marko Arnautovic have all gone, leaving Jordan Hugill and Javier Hernández as the only recognised strikers at the club. Hugill spent last season on loan at Middlesbrough where he scored seven goals in 41 games [source: Transfermarkt] and has only made three appearances for the Hammers since his £9million move from Preston. He’s unlikely to be the answer for the Hammers going forward. That leaves Hernandez, 31, who is out of contract next summer. He admitted he was looking for a new club this summer but also said he’d be happy to stay at West Ham and it looks like that’s the call that’s been made by Manuel Pellegrini. It’s fair to say that West Ham haven’t seen the best of him, although that might not be entirely his fault. Through his career, he’s delivered an impressive 0.49 goals per 90 minutes with an xG of 0.46 that backs them up [wyscout.com]. Chicharito has scored just 16 goals in 61 appearances for West Ham but he’s only played 3,388 minutes [Transfermarkt]. That equates to a goal per 90 ratio of 0.43, which suggests that given a major role and a regular start, he could be close to a 20-goal-a-season striker. West Ham fans will want to see another striker come in and we fully expect the Hammers to try, but in Hernandez they’ve got a more than capable number nine.