Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez loves to score goals but doesn’t need them to enjoy playing football, admitting he’d line up wherever he’s needed just to get on the field.
The Mexico international completed a move from Bayer Leverkusen to West Ham for a reported €17.8 million fee this summer.
Returning to the Premier League for the first time since featuring for Manchester United, Chicharito has scored twice for the Hammers in five games.
And while the striker enjoys finding the back of the net, he says he would gladly line up in a position where goals are less likely to come, so long as he got to see the field.
“My life doesn’t revolve around goals,” Hernandez told West Ham’s official website. "I like to play football, I like to be on that pitch, if I play left winger, left midfielder, even left back, centre forward, wherever.”
The striker further clarified his comments by explaining while goals are enjoyable for everyone, his focus is primarily on improving all aspects of his game in order to help the club succeed.
“I like to grow and I like to challenge myself, I like to always push myself to keep on growing, to adapt to any circumstances. I just love to play football,” Chicharito said.
“Of course, who wouldn’t like to score a goal? Even the ‘keepers would like it; the goal is the culmination of everything.
“But I love playing football, improving in many technical, tactical, mental aspects, whatever. So if I get to score a goal I would be very happy, but not so much if it’s not useful.
“It’s all about the group, the player on your left depends on you and you depend on the one on your right, it’s a chain, this is a team sport and you have to be at your best to be able to support your team.”
Ahead of West Ham’s London derby with Tottenham on Saturday, Chicharito conceded the match is important. However, he does not believe he will play the game any differently than he would a regular fixture, explaining maximum effort is required throughout the season.
“I think derbies are big for everyone and obviously they have a different flavour, especially for the fans,” the 29-year-old added.
“I was brought up as a football player that a derby is a special match, a very nice one, but I always try to play as if all matches were like that. We shouldn’t play differently in only one or two matches a year, you have to play like that in all 38 matches in the league
“Obviously derbies have a different feeling, I think it's a bit more about the environment, but I personally always want to play as if every match were my last, as if it were my last chance and give my all, to give back the trust that my coach, my teammates and all the fans had in me.”