“Chicharito”- a name that Manchester United fans will get used to saying, as this is how new signing Javier Hernandez is better known. Sir Alex Ferguson has claimed that doing this piece of business was crucial for United because he didn’t want the player’s stock to rise at the World Cup thus making it a risk that they lose him altogether. At the age of 21, Hernandez will be representing Mexico in South Africa and from the 1st of July he will officially become a Manchester United player. He will become the first ever Mexican player to play for the English club.
So just what can the Old Trafford faithful expect from the new signing? Firstly, his goal-scoring record, even for a striker, is pretty impressive considering his young age. He has managed to find the back of the net 21 times in 28 games for his current club Chivas and has scored four in four for the national team. He is only 5ft 9in, not exactly a height you would associate with today’s strikers, but you only have to look at how many players of that height have been successful in their role. Chivas are a team in Mexico’s version of the Premier League and Hernandez has been with the club since he was nine years old and are the most victorious team in Mexican history. The fact that there are vast differences between Mexican and English football is one thing, but at least the player comes to England with a winning nature installed in him, having been playing with the senior side since 2006. If all goes to plan regarding work permit issues, than Hernandez could actually end up making his United debut in a pre-season friendly against Chivas.
Ferguson has, for a long time, been keen to identify young talent as quickly as possible and has sprung a few surprises by making these sorts of signings in the middle of the season in previous years. Speaking to manutd.com, he said: “We like doing these kind of deals. These are the kind of signings we prefer to make.” Speaking of the fact that they had to act quickly to sign him up, Ferguson also seemed pleased that they got someone who they had been keeping an eye on for some time. He added: “We first received some background knowledge of the boy last October. One of our scouts went to Mexico in December and watched a few games – the reports that came back were very good. At that time we thought we’d just wait because he was only young. So I sent our chief scout, Jim Lawlor, over to Mexico for three weeks to watch him and get some more background on the boy. While Jim was there, Chicharito played twice for the national team and also for Chivas: he scored in every game.”
As ever with young talent, especially from overseas, Hernandez seems delighted to have made the move and was in attendance at Old Trafford during the disappointing night when Bayern Munich knocked United out of the Champions League. Nonetheless, he has described the move as ‘living the dream’ and, speaking to manut.com, he said: “It’s a dream and I feel so happy. I’ve really enjoyed my week in Manchester – the stadium, the atmosphere at the club and the history are incredible and I want to do great things here.” He went on to add that his first impressions of Ferguson and everything else in general is what he would have expected. He said: “He (Ferguson) is a great person and probably the best coach of all time. All my impressions of the team, the club and the city are incredible.”
Signing a striker was clearly a main priority of Ferguson’s considering that the options up-front have looked ineffectual at times this season. It would be unfair pressure to hope that the Mexican can straight away ease the burden on Wayne Rooney, but the new arrival does send a message out to Dimitar Berbatov in particular. Previous youthful signings, Zoran Tosic springs to mind, have drifted away but Hernandez will be hoping that he is good enough to force his way in to the first team without having to spend a considerable amount of his first season out on loan. It is good for United that he is likely to participate in the high-pressure environment of the World Cup this summer as this will stand him in good stead for his first pre-season with the club.
Ferguson has continued with the policy of signing young and mainly unheard of players so Hernandez’s arrival at Old Trafford is bound to be eagerly anticipated. He has the added advantage of being able to speak good English and is currently studying for a degree in business administration in his spare time- the signs are he is a level-headed person. The ingredients are there for him to become a hit with the United fans and the manager, whilst they will be eager for his goal-scoring to continue in the toughest league of them all. Hernandez will arrive with the innocence of youth about him and with that he can provide the injection of something different to add to United’s attack.
Have a look below to see a compilation of some goals that have been scored by Javier Hernandez.
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