Bilic: Chicharito crucial to our project

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic claims the club landed their priority target with the acquisition of Javier Hernandez from Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

The former Manchester United striker has returned to the Premier League after spending the last two seasons in Germany, where he flourished with Leverkusen.

His tally of 39 goals in 76 appearances across all competitions persuaded the Hammers to bring 'Chicharito' to the English capital on a three-year deal worth £16 million.

Bilic admits Hernandez is crucial to his future plans, having missed out on the 29-year-old striker in 2015 when he left Old Trafford for the BayArena.

"Chicharito is very important in this project," the Croatian said at a press conference. "When I came to West Ham two years ago and he was leaving United, I wanted him then.

"When he decided to go to Leverkusen, he told me 'sorry' and now after two years, I found out he may leave I called him again. We didn't have to start from zero.

"He is a fantastic player. Very experienced and has been everywhere and has scored goals. He runs, he presses, everything. He was our number-one target on our list of strikers."

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