West Ham United have identified Xande Silva as the long-term replacement for Javier Hernandez, as reported by football.london.
When the Hammers decided to sanction the Mexico international’s sale to Sevilla, part of their thinking behind doing so was that they believed the 22-year-old could eventually take over his role.
There is now hope that he could make a competitive return next month, having progressed well in the recovery from his bowel obstruction in the summer.
Silva has played a total of 96 minutes of first-team football for West Ham since joining the club, with the majority of his playing time coming in the U23s, as per Transfermarkt.
17 of those minutes came in the Premier League, against Burnley, when he replaced Marko Arnautovic for his debut during the 2-0 loss.
He then followed that up with 79 minutes in a 2-0 win against Birmingham City in the FA Cup, operating from the left-wing.
When Silva makes his return, he will be up against Albian Ajeti to become Sebastien Haller’s main understudy – the Switzerland international has played the full 90 minutes for the Hammers twice, against Newport County and Oxford United.
With Ajeti having failed to score in either of his two games to date, there is certainly an opportunity for Silva to come in, once fit, and show that he should be the second-choice striker.
Another trait that should get him on the bench is that he is able to play out wide, as he showed against Birmingham, so he offers a bit of versatility.
With thoughts on the longer term, with Hernandez having started 30 Premier League games and come on as a substitute in 23 during his two seasons in claret and blue, it will be interesting to see if Silva eventually starts on a more regular basis than the Mexican did.
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