Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez will make his second debut for a Premier League club this weekend.
It will come against the only other PL club he has played for.
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Hernandez, 29, is likely to lead West Ham United’s forward line against Manchester United on Sunday (Watch live, 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) at Old Trafford and Mexico’s all-time leading goalscorer can’t wait to return to his “old house” where he won two PL titles.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the Hammers’ season opener the $20.8 million summer signing from Bayer Leverkusen looked back on his five years at Man United fondly.
“I can just say it’s luck,” Hernandez said when asked about his storybook return to life in the PL. “It was a great experience [there] … only happiness. I was living my dream and made that big step, which is not common. There is nothing negative about going there. It’s going to be my first game with my new club, against my old club in my old house. It’s only positive things – it’s an important moment for me.”
Hernandez’s arrival has been met with delight by Hammers fans as the predatory forward becomes the highest-paid player in club history and has plenty of expectation on his shoulders. He’s used to that with the Mexican national team.
“I feel the same as when I went to Manchester United, when I went to Real Madrid and Leverkusen, and now West Ham,” Hernandez said. “I am going to play football, which is something I was fighting for since I was a kid, and then we will see what happens. It’s easy to say I can score 20 goals, or that I have a lot of pressure, or not, or blah, blah, blah. Speaking is very easy but the most important thing is to prove myself on the pitch.”
Chicharito’s arrival in east London has led many to believe that Slaven Bilic has finally found the poacher the Hammers have craved in recent years and Hernandez’s 59 goals in 157 appearances for United (his rate of a goal every 130 minutes in the PL is the fifth-best in history) saw him lauded by Sir Alex Ferguson and current United boss Jose Mourinho. The Hammers are aiming to fight for a European spot and Chicharito is key to achieving that.
Hernandez will get a warm reception from United’s fans when he takes to the field on Sunday for West Ham, even, as expected, he scores.