Bayer 04 Leverkusen pulled off arguably the coup of transfer deadline day, by signing Mexican international Javier Hernandez for a reported fee of €12million. The transfer has certainly got supporters of die Werkself very excited.
Hernandez, affectionately known as “El Chicharito” – the Little Pea – has signed a three year contract, and has already made his Leverkusen debut in a friendly against SC Paderborn. While that game ended in a 2-0 defeat, there were signs of the options available now to Roger Schmidt. Hernandez partnered Stefan Kießling in attack, rather than the more conventional 4-3-3 setup. Hernandez did take a knock to the ankle during the game, but the club have said it is just a bruise.
Signing Hernandez will obviously benefit the team on the pitch, but perhaps the real benefits will be seen off the pitch. The player has more followers on social media than the club; in fact he even has more than Bayern Munich! The tweet from @bayer04fussball announcing his signing achieved more than fifteen thousand retweets, the most ever received by the club, and the Facebook post also received record amounts of “likes”.
It is hoped that signing Hernandez will open the club up to the fanatical football fans in Mexico. His signing has been heavily reported by his first club, Chivas Guadalajara, and should see the club pick up some new fans in the country, in much the same way as Heung-Min Son opened up the South Korean market and even attracted LG as the club's shirt sponsor.
It was thought that Hernandez would want Admir Mehmedi's number fourteen shirt, but he will wear the number seven shirt, a number which his father wore as a player. In fact, Javier Hernandez Gutierrez's influence on his son is patently clear; Hernandez junior is known as El Chicharito because his father was known as El Chicharo (the pea) due to his green eyes.
A goal poacher of the highest order, Hernandez is exactly the type of player that Roger Schmidt needed in his squad. If there's a loose ball bouncing around the penalty area, you can bet Hernandez will be on hand to bag a goal. He could not be joining a more harmonious and happy dressing room. The other players will make him very welcome, and he will be an integral part of the dressing room.
It promises to be a very exciting season for this already very exciting squad.
This article will be published in the Bracknell Town FC match day programme on Tuesday night for their game with Rayners Lane FC.