West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini has indicated that striker Javier Hernandez will be a key part of his first-team plans heading into the new season.
The Mexican international joined the Hammers last summer from Bayer Leverkusen following promising form in Germany.
He however failed to recapture this form upon his return to England and managed just 8 goals in the Premier League from 28 appearances.
His struggles led to him playing second fiddle to Marko Arnautovic and the 30-year-old has even been linked with a move away from the London Stadium amidst interest from MLS clubs.
Many will feel that Hernandez was under-used last term with David Moyes often preferring to operate with a lone striker in Arnautovic.
He may however get more regular football under Pellegrini and may be keen to stay on for at least another season.
Pellegrini has seemingly now put paid to speculation that the former Manchester United and Real Madrid striker will be leaving East London this summer.
He said as per the Daily Star: “I spoke with Javier before he played at the World Cup.
“When I signed here, I told him that he would be a very important player here with me.”