Just who is this Pablo Barrera chap then?

Having completed the acquisition of Thomas Hitzlsperger last month, West Ham United look set to make their second major signing of the summer in the form of Mexico international Pablo Barrera. Despite facing stiff competition from Espanyol and Premier League rivals Everton, West Ham United are expected to finalise the signing of the UNAM Pumas man later this week. Although Barrera featured three times for Mexico at the World Cup, little is known in England about the 23-year-old. What can Hammers’ fans expect to see from Barrera next season?

23-year-old Mexican Pablo Barrera is a versatile attacking player. Although he is predominantly used in his favoured right-wing position, Barrera is capable of performing on the opposite flank too. Since making his senior debut for UNAM Pumas in 2005, Barrera has appeared 85 times for the Mexico City-based side, racking up 18 goals over the course of four and a half seasons.

The winger made his international debut in 2007, but established himself as a staple of former manager Javier Aguirre’s squad in 2009, featuring in Mexico’s victorious Gold Cup campaign. So far Barrera has appeared 24 times for El Tri, scoring three goals.

Nicknamed ‘Dynamite’, Barrera’s strongest attributes include his explosive pace and close control, with his qualities typifying those of lightning-fast, touchline-hugging wingers of yore. Barrera is adept at shooting with both feet, and his record at UNAM Pumas indicates that he has a good eye for goal. Prior to the World Cup, Barrera was his club side’s top scorer, a respectable feat for a midfielder and even more impressive when considering the fact that he plays in a more withdrawn role for UNAM Pumas.

Although Barrera is a regular starter at club level, he has primarily been used as an impact sub for his country (his three appearances at the World Cup were as a substitute). Whilst this fact is attributable to former manager Aguirre’s tactical preferences, Barrera has shown glimpses of how devastating he can be when brought on from the bench. During Mexico’s recent World Cup clash with France, Barrera’s surging pace drew a foul from French left-back Eric Abidal, with the resulting penalty securing a crucial 2-0 victory for El Tri.

With Barrera’s fee rumoured to be in the region of £4m, West Ham United may have landed themselves one of the bargains of the summer.

The following clip highlights Barrera’s abilities:

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Click on image below to see the Argentinean babes at the World Cup