The saying usually goes ‘out with the old and in with the new’ but in West Ham United’s case a bit of both could be just the ticket.

West Ham are desperately searching for new strikers after allowing Andy Carroll, Lucas Perez and Marko Arnautovic to leave.

Manuel Pellegrini has been linked with a host of strikers namely Maxi Gomez, Sebastien Haller and Gonzalo Higuain of late (Daily Star).

West Ham’s striker search has dominated the headlines.

Photo by Arfa Griffiths West Ham United FC via Getty Images

Don’t forget Fornals

So much so that many are forgetting the club’s excellent capture of exciting young Spain star Pablo Fornals.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the summer is that Mexican striker Javier Hernandez is still at West Ham.

The 31-year-old was widely tipped to be sold to a club in La Liga or MLS (Evening Standard).

The player himself even admitted he was likely to leave in a YouTube interview with Naked Humans.

What the Hammers did not plan for was Arnautovic’s sudden departure.

Since then Hernandez has been handed the number nine shirt.

And he has been loudly trumpeted on West Ham’s official website and social media channels.

Photo by Daniel Kopatsch West Ham United FC via Getty Images

Pellegrini masterstroke?

While some supporters are disappointed Hernandez looks set to stick around – and continue to pick up his £140,000 per week wages – it could turn out to be a Pellegrini masterstroke.

Fans don’t like Hernandez’s stroppy attitude at times.

But with less competition and more game time, the former Manchester United star would be more contented.


Chicharito has flattered to deceive in his time at the club.

There have often been mitigating circumstances, though. In his first season, Slaven Bilic played him as a wide forward, a role that was never going to suit his fox-in-the-box poacher style.

He was barely used under David Moyes.

And last season he scored some important goals when he was played as the number one striker.

Many fans argue West Ham are not set up to play to Hernandez’s strengths.

Photo by Daniel Kopatsch West Ham United FC via Getty Images

Sometimes the best things are unplanned

But that could all change with the arrival of versatile Fornals who has been known to operate as a number 10 or second striker.

‘A genius in the pass’ was how Spanish football expert Guillem Balague described Fornals, read full story here.

And the intelligent 23-year-old’s penchant for a slide rule through-ball and quick one-twos in and around the opposition box means he and Hernandez could be a match made in heaven.

Yes the duo would be lacking in physical presence.

But if West Ham are set to continue to develop their quick, incisive passing football philosophy further under Pellegrini this season then they would suit that down to the ground.

Sometimes the best things are unplanned.

Fornals will finally provide the kind of service Hernandez thrives on.

And in turn West Ham too could thrive without breaking the bank.

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