Manchester United’s ‘little pea’
Manchester United’s scouts who found Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez certainly deserve full praise for landing the Mexican. They truly have unearthed a gem. When news of the Hernandez deal was first announced, it was so clandestine that only his father and the United board (mainly David Gill) and the boss knew what was happening while his agent was kept in the dark. It was therefore no surprise that everyone’s initial reaction was ‘Hernandez who’?
Quite clearly, that is unthinkable now considering the massive impact he has already made in his so-far short Old Trafford career.
Hernandez soaring high
It’s remarkable how far he has progressed in his career. A few years ago he was thinking of quitting after going through a tough phase as an 18-year old. According to his father, “he doubted he was capable of playing in the First Division” but “we talked to him about being persistent and told him that, in time, everything would come”. Come it certainly did. He does have football blood after all. From his grandfather to his father to now the youngest Hernandez, the young striker has certainly improved in leaps and bounds.
A growing fan club
‘Chicharito’ (his Spanish nickname which means the little pea) has won over everyone at the club, particularly the fans. He does indeed possess remarkable similarities with one of the most popular ex-United players – a certain Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. A baby-looking face, signed as an unknown striker at a young age from a non-mainstream club at a bargain price, the ability to score crucial goals and a natural goal-scoring ability.
United’s number fourteen has just about every other desirable quality too: pace, enthusiasm, a desire to learn and get better and of course the ability to score all sorts of headers. From the goal on his debut that went in off his head and face against Chelsea to the brilliantly improvised twisting header at Stoke to a more conventional one against Wigan, his diminutive stature has not deterred his heading ability at all.
Hernandez showed yet another terrific dimension to his game with a beautiful back-heel finish against Stoke recently that confounded the defender closely marking him and put United ahead in style. United later won the match with the Guadalajara-born lad providing an assist for the second of the two goals the club scored to win the match 2-1. 2011 has certainly started well for him. The Stoke goal was in addition to a crucial second-half winner scored on New Years Day at West Bromwich Albion (yet another header). In fact, the Reds from Manchester have won a mere two away league games so far this season and both have been courtesy of winners from Hernandez with the Mexican previously netting a double in a 2-1 triumph at Stoke earlier in the season.
To cap it all off, the best thing the scouts did was to sign him up before the World Cup started. His two terrific goals for his country in the show-piece event did not go unnoticed and would certainly have raised his value to a much higher level.
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