West Ham and Leicester City will both be looking to finish in the top half of the table this year but after fairly average starts, it looks as though the two sides are going to be in for a serious fight for a top ten finish.
Both sides will need their forwards to score over the course of the campaign, especially when Jamie Vardy and Marko Arnautovic are out injured.
To back up Vardy, Leicester City signed Kelechi Iheanacho from Man City last year. While not signed to be back up when he joined, with Arnautovic’s emergence as a top-class striker, Javier Hernandez has been firmly entrenched as the club’s second-choice forward.
Despite emerging as an exciting talent at Man City, with Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero ahead of him, Iheanacho was never going to get a chance at Man City and making the move to Leicester City for a reported £25 million was the move he had to make.
Since making the move to the Midlands side, however, the Nigerian has found it hard to showcase his talent. He featured more in the second half of the season last year and managed to score three goals while creating a further three. This year, he’s featured more for Leicester as he’s played nine games in the league but has only scored one goal so far.
There’s no doubting that the Nigeria international has the talent to be a solid starting striker in the league but at the moment, he hasn’t shown the consistency needed. Moreover, as it stands, he hasn’t quite lived up to the transfer fee Leicester paid when he arrived at the club.
TT Grade: B-
Signed from Bayer Leverkusen for a reported £16 million fee, following a superb spell in Germany, the Mexican’s arrival was initially seen as a solid piece of business but as of yet, he’s not quite lived up to expectations.
It was originally thought that he’d play as the lone striker for the Hammers but with Marko Arnautovic shifting inside, Hernandez found himself starting from the bench for much of the second-half of last season.
Last year he scored eight goals in 28 appearances for the club, which is a solid return but this year, the former Manchester United man has struggled with injuries and as of yet has only played five games – without scoring a goal.
At his best, Hernandez is an excellent poacher but as of yet, he hasn’t quite had the opportunity to show that over a run of games. he certainly is good enough to be a solid player for the club but as of yet, he hasn’t shown that.
TT Grade: B
It’s a fairly tough battle to call but due to his proven track record over the years and his quality, Hernandez wins this one.
He hasn’t quite matched expectations in the early part of his career but he’s certainly an excellent player to have on the bench or even step in for Arnautovic when he’s out.
In Iheanacho, Leicester have a fairly talented player in the hands but one that hasn’t quite shown it. If he is to succeed, he must look to a player like Hernandez and style his positioning and finishing on him.