Javier Hernandez

Chicharito praised as West Ham striker hits form

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Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez is becoming quite the cult hero at West Ham United, just a few weeks after admitting he wanted to leave the east London club in January.

Hernandez, 29, scored West Ham’s opening goal in their 2-0 win against Watford last weekend, had another disallowed and was a constant pest as the Hammers continued to ease their relegation fears considerably since David Moyes arrived to take charge in November.

The all-time leading goalscorer for Mexico’s national team has now scored three goals in his last four games in the Premier League, which is his best run of form since returning to England last summer following two years in Germany with Bayer Leverkusen.

Many fans of El Tri feared that Moyes’ arrival at West Ham (he benched Hernandez often during his time in charge of Manchester United) would spark a sharp downturn in playing time for Hernandez and although initially that seemed to be the case due to an injury of his own, injuries and outgoings involving other strikers in January suddenly handed him the chance to stake his claim as their first-choice striker.

He’s taken it with both hands and is a real handful up top with Michail Antonio, Joao Mario and Marko Arnautovic supporting him in attack.

“Chicharito is a top striker. I’ve got a great relationship with him and he deserves his goals because he is a hard worker. I’m really happy for him and for the team,” West Ham’s goalkeeper Adrian said after the game.

Hernandez has turned things around very quickly with the Hammers and although the fans have always appreciated his predatory instincts, it appeared he may not fit into their system under Slaven Bilic and then his successor Moyes.

With seven goals in 15 PL starts (plus six appearances off the bench) in his debut season at the London Stadium, Hernandez is West Ham’s second top goalscorer and the move has done his reputation as a serial scorer no harm at all.

Whether or not he remains at West Ham beyond this season remains to be seen but he will have plenty of suitors and, more importantly for Mexico, he is in form and scoring goals ahead of the 2018 World Cup this summer.

Chicharito admits he wanted to leave West Ham in January

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With many players across the globe vying for places in their respective national teams, one player Premier League admitted that he was seeking a move away from his club side in order to help secure his spot with Mexico.

[ MORE: PL roundup — Arsenal bashes Everton, Man City drops points ]

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez was at the center of transfer rumors during the January transfer window, however, a move to send him away from West Ham United never came to fruition.

The El Tri striker joined the Hammers ahead of the 2017/18 season, and is the joint-leading goalscorer for the club in all competitions, with six goals.

However, Hernandez has at times not been selected as a regular in the starting team, prompting his interest in a move away from the London Stadium.

“Yes, it was the case that I wanted to go,” Hernandez told the Daily Mirror. “Not because I don’t like West Ham, but because I need to have minutes on the pitch.

“The World Cup is just around the corner and I want to play. But you can see that, even though my agent says I want to go, I have been doing everything I can in a West Ham shirt to help the team.

“Against Bournemouth I scored a goal [in a 1-1 draw], I tried to play pretty well in the [FA] Cup [a 2-0 defeat to Wigan Athletic] and, in the last game, against Crystal Palace [a 1-1 draw], I tried to do my best. I am a very professional guy and I want to do that.

“Words can come and go. Your acts are going to speak for themselves.

“Now that the window is closed I am here and trying to achieve the main goals for the club, which is to be safe from relegation. Then, in the summer, we will see.”

Brighton and Hove Albion 3-1 West Ham: Hughton’s men huge

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  • Murray scores eighth of PL season
  • Chicharito levels
  • Izquierdo beauty restores lead

There wasn’t a poor goal amongst the four at the Amex Stadium, with Brighton and Hove Albion scoring the majority in a 3-1 win over West Ham United on Saturday.

Glenn Murray, Jose Izquierdo, and Pascal Gross scored for the Gulls, who rise 13th on 27 points, level on points with 12th place West Ham.

Javier Hernandez scored for the Irons.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Murray’s remarkable season found another level in the 8th minute. Not known for his pace, Murray caught three of West Ham’s back four sleeping and dribbled onto Adrian and knocked his shot home.

Hernandez scored a wonderful goal to level the score in the 30th minute, dribbling horizontally near the penalty spot to set up a shot that pummeled the back of the goal. 1-1.

Brighton regained the lead on a truly stunning curler from the corner of the 18 by Izquierdo, who earned a yellow for his shirt-tossing field-long celebration.

And Gross also scored from distance as the highlight reel goals continued at the Amex.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

West Ham United 1-1 Crystal Palace: London stalemate

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  • Irons go four clear of drop zone
  • Palace sits three above 18th
  • Benteke heads opener
  • Chicharito wins penalty kick

Christian Benteke and Mark Noble traded first half goals as Crystal Palace and West Ham United split the spoils 1-1 at the London Stadium on Tuesday.

Benteke had put Palace ahead, but the 12th place Eagles conceded a penalty kick to the 10th place Irons before the game reached the midway point.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Benteke put Palace ahead in the 24th minute in a goal Eagles fans were expecting to see many times prior: an Andros Townsend cross to forehead of their big Belgian striker.

West Ham made it 1-1 just before halftime, as Javier Hernandez was taken down inside the box. James Tompkins was deservedly the culprit, and Noble converted his chance from the spot.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Players to watch in the final week of the window

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With all due credit to the Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saga, which has replaced the Alexis-Mkhitaryan saga as the saga du semaine in the Premier League, there are other players potentially on the move this week.

Here’s who we think you should keep an eye on as January moves to its conclusion.

[ PL PLAYBACK: On trade deals, and more ]

1) The list should arguably start and end with Jonny Evans, in that whether or not he moves could lay out how much else his current and prospective new club will do in the remainder of the window.

Evans is the sort of player — with respect to Papiss Cisse — that every club needs, and also brings the experience of knowing it could be better and worse from his time winning PL titles at Manchester United and, well, not winning them at West Brom and on loan to Sunderland. He’s 30, not old for a center back, and he’ll be worth every penny.

2) Thinking of Andre Schurrle‘s time at Chelsea has us daydreaming about a similar Chelsea outcast turned reborn Bundesliga star in Kevin De Bruyne (though certainly few are betting on the German to become a Ballon d’Or finalist under Alan Pardew, Rafa Benitez, or Mauricio Pochettino) What’s neat about his case is that his loan move from Borussia Dortmund — and the German club’s potential to pay half the wages if not more — would allow a club who wouldn’t normally get a player of his class to dream a bit. Then again, it could be a bit of “Jese with PL experience.”

3) Aleksandar Mitrovic‘s wild nature has caused his status to shrink deep into the recesses of Rafa Benitez’s mind, which is a shame because Newcastle really could use him, and he could be a breakout forward at the World Cup this summer. Maybe West Brom needs to trade Salomon Rondon for “Mitro” straight up so two baffling PL strike cases can get fresh starts. Or maybe…

4 and 5) David Moyes should call up Newcastle United and offer reported Chelsea target Andy Carroll or reported everyone else target Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez is a like-for-like swap. Trade deals, after all, are the new norm, yes?