Mexican superstar Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez moves to EPL
Mexico international and Bayer 04 Leverkusen striker, Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez has transferred to West Ham United of the English Premier League.
No one was much surprised. The Hammers had been sniffing around a transfer offer for his services for quite a while now. Chicharito had accounted for a lot of Leverkusen’s offense over the last two seasons. He scored 28 goals in more than 50 appearances for the Bayer Fabriker.
Hernandez had previously played in England for Man United. The Hammers were comfortable mid-table finishers in the Premier League last season, but have never won the title. Though the signing of Chicharito may have been their greatest dream, the club continues to this moment to be active in this summer’s market.
Bayer migraine of 2017 continues
For Bayer 04 Leverkusen and its fans, on the other hand, 2017 has been nearly a nightmare. The club has been through three managers thus far. And the new season is still one month away.
Tayfun Korkut, former Turkish international and ex-manager of Hannover 96, took over in March as Leverkusen faced down the looming specter of relegation. The previous head man, Roger Schmidt, was summarily dismissed following his side’s thrashing at the hands of Borussia Dortmund late last season. He has since resurfaced as manager for Beijing Guoan of the Chinese Super League.
It was just a few years ago that things were so much different at the BayArena. The club finished second in Bundesliga in 2011. There they were, sandwiched in between Borussia Dortmund, just one spot ahead of them and one spot below the winners Bayern Munich. It was as it is supposed to be when your club is one of the oldest in the German game.
They even kicked FC Köln‘s ass that year too. Well, one out of two anyway. Those were good times.
But times have changed. In 2017 Leverkusen finished just 4 points above the relegation zone. They also had a negative goal differential—Chicharito’s contributions notwithstanding—and they lacked more than 20 points for Champions League qualification.
All in all, it has been the kind of year to give Leverkusen fans the worst kind of headache. And now this.
Bright spot for Bayer?
The only positive for the cross-bearing old school club has been Kai Havertz, who emerged as a star at the end of the last season.
Towards the end of last year the young midfielder made a mark for himself scoring twice in the closing match with Hertha Berlin. He’s drawn praise from all of his fellows, of course, and even from the generally understated Rudi Völler, Leverkusen’s sporting director and former West German international star.
But it seems like grasping at straws to imagine that such a young man could turn Bayer’s fortunes around anytime soon.
And “young” may even be something of an understatement in the case of Havertz. He turned 18 just this summer. So now he can buy a beer wherever he goes. Well, actually he could buy beer in Germany as of age 16. But now he can buy hard liquor.
That may turn out to be good news. Because if something doesn’t change at Leverkusen in 2018, Havertz and Bayer 04’s fans may find they all need a strong drink.