£16m Slaven Bilic signing was just as bad as Haller

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West Ham United have had far from the best of luck with centre-forwards over the years as they have tried and failed, on numerous occasions, to find themselves a reliable goalscorer at Premier League level.

Back in January 2017, The Guardian reported that David Sullivan and David Gold had signed 32 strikers during their seven-year stint as owners of the club, by that point in time, and those additions had only scored 128 goals in 643 games in all competitions for the Hammers.

Who are West Ham’s most expensive strikers?

The club have had howlers with a host of number nines but one particular standout in that department was Mexico international Javier Hernandez, who did not live up to the hype during his time at the London Stadium.

West Ham’s most expensive strikers (excluding Hernandez)

Fee paid (via Transfermarkt)

Sebastien Haller


Gianluca Scamacca


Marko Arnautovic


Andy Carroll


Enner Valencia


The former Manchester United attacker struggled to deliver consistent quality at the top end of the pitch for the Hammers and arguably, was as bad a signing as Sebastien Haller, who also left a lot to be desired after his move from Eintracht Frankfurt.

How much did West Ham pay for Javier Hernandez?

West Ham signed the experienced centre-forward for £16m, which was interestingly officially confirmed by the club in their statement, from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer of 2017.

Slaven Bilic secured his services after the talented attacker had enjoyed two excellent seasons in the Bundesliga with his former team and may have been hoping that the striker would be able to carry on his rich vein of form.

Hernandez was coming off the back of an impressive season in which he scored 11 goals and provided three assists in 20 starts in the German top-flight for Leverkusen.

He had also plundered an eye-catching 17 goals and two assists in 25 Bundesliga starts throughout the 2015/16 campaign, which shows that the Mexican was a reliable scorer throughout his two years there.

His spell with Leverkusen had come after five years with Manchester United in England. Chicharito produced 59 goals and 20 assists in 157 outings for the Red Devils and hit double figures for goals in three Premier League seasons.

The talented attacker also won two league titles during his time at Old Trafford and arrived at West Ham as a player who knew how to be successful in England.

How many goals did Hernandez score for West Ham?

Hernandez, however, failed to live up to his reputation as a lethal scorer as he only found the back of the net 17 times in 63 matches for the Hammers in all competitions.

He scored ten or more league goals in five separate seasons for Leverkusen and United combined prior to joining West Ham and then failed to find the net more than eight times in the Premier League during his two-year spell at the London Stadium.

The Mexico international plundered eight goals and zero assists in 28 top-flight appearances for the club throughout the 2017/18 campaign. For context, Marko Arnautovic was the only Hammers player who hit double figures for goals as the Austrian marksman struck 11 times in the league.

Hernandez followed that up with seven goals and one assist along with missing a dismal seven ‘big chances’ in 25 Premier League games during the 2018/19 season.


He was, once again, outshone by Arnautovic as the former Stoke City star scored ten league goals for West Ham and was the club’s top scorer in both campaigns.

In total, the former Manchester United finisher racked up 15 goals in 53 league matches for the club, which was an average of one goal every 3.53 outings.

How many goals did Sebastien Haller score for West Ham?

These statistics show that Hernandez was as bad as Haller, who scored 14 goals in 54 games for the Hammers during his time in England.

The French centre-forward, who bagged seven goals in 32 Premier League outings in the 2019/20 campaign, averaged a goal every 3.86 matches over his 18 months at the London Stadium.


Indeed, they both failed to deliver a consistent goalscoring threat at the top end of the pitch as neither of them came close to finding the back of the net once every other game or hitting double figures in a league season.

How much did West Ham sell Hernandez for?

West Ham eventually decided to cash in on Hernandez in the summer of 2019, following the arrival of Haller from Frankfurt, for a reported fee of £8m as Sevilla swooped in to secure his signature.

The forward’s value halved during his two years with the Hammers as they were only able to recoup 50% of the £16m that they paid Leverkusen for him in 2017.


West Ham certainly had a nightmare with the Mexican finisher as they lost £8m on him within two seasons after he failed to deliver the quality that the evidence of his career, prior to the move to London, suggested he had.

Hernandez had proven himself to be a prolific scorer with United and Leverkusen but was not able to carry that on for Bilic and now finds himself playing in the MLS at the age of 35.

Where is Javier Hernandez now?

The veteran marksman currently plays for Los Angeles Galaxy, where he has been since 2020, and has enjoyed an excellent time in America so far.

Chicharito has registered 39 goals in 83 matches for the club in all competitions, which included 18 goals in 33 MLS starts throughout the 2022 campaign. He has found his goalscoring touch again after deciding to make the move to another continent to restart his career.

His move to LA came after the former Hammers flop scored three goals in 15 matches for Sevilla as he failed to recapture his Leverkusen form in Europe after the move back to England.

West Ham certainly missed out on the best years of his career and signed him at the wrong time, which ultimately proved to be a costly mistake by the club.

David Moyes will now be hoping that his next striker signing, whoever that may turn out to be in a future transfer window, will be far more successful than the likes of Hernandez and Haller, who both turned out to be expensive flops.

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