Most Manchester United fans had never heard of Mexico striker Javier Hernandez just a month ago let alone know anything about the 22 year old. It was only after his club Chivas de Guadalajara agreed to an offer from Sir Alex Ferguson which will take the man known as ‘Chicharito’ to Old Trafford on July 1 that they began to discover what makes him tick Those fans will now have their first opportunity of catching a glimpse of him on Monday night when Mexico plays against England in a Wembley World Cup warm up.
Hernandez is set to be in coach Javier Aguirre’s XI as both Fabio Capello’s squad and the Mexicans warm up for South Africa. If United supporters make their way to London or tune in to the television coverage they will witness Ferguson’s new signing battling it out to come to terms with his new status as Mexico’s golden boy.
Chicharito will turn 22 on Tuesday of next week and will play his first match in England with advice from his grandfather ringing in his ears. South American reporter Tom Marshall revealed that United’s new boy has struggled since the announcement of his move toEngland but anticipates Hernandez will become a hit at Old Trafford.
“Hernandez will be the first to admit that he hasn’t been playing well recently for Mexico. In the last four matches against poor teams he hasn’t scored” Marshall said. “last weekend he missed a couple of sitters against a much weakened Chile. He’s possibly trying too hard to justify all the hype about moving to Old Trafford.
His grandfather was a member of the legendary Chivas side in the 50s and was in Mexico’s 1954 World Cup squad. Hernandez Snr was on TV advising Chicharito to relax but also added how important the World Cup is. He says that his grandson needs the springboard of good performances in the finals before he moves to United.
If he performs well in South Africa he’ll go to England high on confidence and ready to tackle his Old Trafford career but if he has a poor World Cup he will then go over to England on a downer. “The media in Mexico are not going overboard so they are not putting too much pressure on him. He has to learn to cope with it himself and take his grandfather’s advice”
Marshall has monitored Hernandez’s progress at Chivas and admits the move to Old Trafford came out of the blue. “Six months ago Chicharito wasn’t all that well known but then he scored eight goals in eight games, got into the Mexican team and it all took off. It was a rapid rise, it took everyone by surprise. It was constantly reported in the papers over here that he would probably end up going to Europe but nobody could foresee that it would be to Manchester United. Once the news broke it was the transfer of the decade, it was unbelievable”
So what can United fans expect from the Mexican import? “If I was comparing him to anyone, then I would say he’s similar to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer” said Marshall “he’s not a playmaker or someone who will create goals out of nothing for himself. He’s not a Wayne Rooney who can change a game on his own but if you create chances for Chicharito he will put away most of them and probably convert a good percentage of the half chances as well. He’s a good goal scorer, very enthusiastic, very quick and very sharp. He’s even got a baby face like Solskjaer and plays with a smile on his face”
Come to think of it, that’s a similar description to another former United striker who was deemed to be a failure but has since done very well for himself in both Spain’s La Liga and the Europa League. Let’s hope that lady fortune smiles far more on Chicharito than it did on Diego Forlan.
Will the media put too much expectation on Hernandez?