West Ham United manager David Moyes has praised Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez and said he enjoys having the forward as an option in his squad despite rumors the Mexico international is set to leave London.
Reports Thursday indicated West Ham would listen to offers with both fellow Premier League sides and MLS expansion team Los Angeles FC potentially interested in the player. For Moyes, however, just because Chicharito hasn't been seeing a full load of minutes doesn't mean he won't be critical to the side.
Moyes took over during the November FIFA widow. During that break from club football, Chicharito suffered a hamstring injury in El Tri's 3-3 friendly draw against Belgium. Moyes said that injury and the emergence of other attacking players made it tougher for the Mexican to get playing time.
“The form of Marko Arnautovic and Michail Antonio, at the start, has probably made it difficult. When I joined, Javier was injured and we had to go with Marko and Michail up front in different games," Moyes said. "They’ve both done really well.
“Chicharito is a really good player and his finishing ability is as good as there is anywhere. He thrives on balls in the box and maybe in a lot of games we’ve not had that service to give him. We’ve got players like Chicharito who need supplying in the box. We’ve got Andy Carroll who probably needs to be supplied with crosses. We’ve got Andre Ayew who looks for good balls into feet in and around the box. We’ve got very different forward players who I think we will need at very different times in games.
“We can do with them all being fit so I’ve got options in the games.”
Despite a recent downturn in form, Chicharito's four Premier League goals this season still have him second for West Ham behind Arnautovic's five. Still, concerns have persisted in Mexico with Chicharito earning just 140 league minutes since returning from his hamstring injury. Mexico fans worried when Moyes took over after his history with Chicharito at Manchester United when he left the forward on the bench during the majority of the 2013-14 season.
“At United, Sir Alex Ferguson used to play him from the bench quite a lot,” Moyes said. “I was well aware, when I joined Manchester United, that Chicharito would want more minutes. Also, I had Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck, to name a few.
“The competition at football clubs is hard, but if you’re a good player then you get there, and Chicharito is a good player."