West Ham United sold Mexican striker Javier Hernandez to Sevilla on Monday for £7 million, taking his huge £140,000-a-week wages off their bill.
The former Manchester United star is set to pocket around £53,000-a-week at the La Liga club and his decision to take such a huge pay cut surprised Sevilla.
Hernandez submitted a transfer request last Friday, and it doesn’t seem fans or West Ham players are gutted he has left.
Apart from scoring just 17 goals in 63 appearances for the Hammers – a poor return after his 39 goals in 76 appearances for Bayern Leverkusen convinced the club to spend £17million on his signature two summers ago – the 31-year-old wasn’t particularly popular in the dressing room.
Hernandez couldn’t force his way into West Ham’s XI despite playing for three different managers, and according to The Athletic, some players were surprised at the amount of social media attention he got from the club’s official account given that he was mainly on the fringes of the starting line-up.
However, the club were only keen to use his popularity to their advantage, hence their strategy to reach out to his nine million followers on Twitter and 5.2 million followers on Instagram.
A huge social media presence definitely boosts the club’s sales of tickets, jerseys et al, and West Ham’s media department can’t be blamed for their approach.
It remains to be seen if their strategy paid off, but Hernandez’s exit is clearly a huge relief financial for the board, and it would have taught them a lesson or two about marquee signings going forward.