Thursday, April 8, 2010

Javier Hernandez Signing Spells End for Dimitar Berbatov at Manchester United

Manchester United and Alex Ferguson have sensationally scooped up 21-year-old striker Javier Hernandez from Chivas in Mexico for an as-yet-undisclosed fee.

The signing also seems to signal the end of the affair for Dimitar Berbatov, who is now expected to move on either this or next summer.

Chicharito, as Hernandez is known in Mexico, had been at Old Trafford over the last couple of days being shown around before he passed his medical. It is the perfect lift for the club after their disastrous exit in the Champions League at the hands of Bayern Munich.

He will sign on the dotted line on July 1, if he qualifies for a work permit, which looks to be a formality.

The diminutive striker will then link up with his new team after the World Cup in South Africa, where he will play a major role in Mexico's highly exciting front line.

With Hernandez and the likes of Giovani Dos Santos and Andres Guardado, El Tri look like a team that will make a lot of friends. His goal against North Korea in a recent friendly shows exactly how dangerous Mexico are on the break.

Hernandez made his debut for Chivas in 2006, after coming through the ranks as a schoolboy. He had initially joined when he was just 9 years old.

Over the next two years, he played 64 times for C.D. Guadalajara, scoring an impressive 28 times in a league known for its toughness.

He is currently the leading scorer in the Torneo Bicentario, with 10 goals from 11 games.

After impressing in the senior ranks, he was picked for Mexico's U-21's, but was fast-tracked into the national side after just five games.

Since he became a full international, his game has grown by leaps and bounds; he scored four times in his first four games. If anything, he seems perfectly built for the more technical aspects of international football. This summer the youngster hopes to become the third generation of his family to represent Mexico at a World Cup after his father and grandfather before him.

How the slightly built youngster will take to the English game is anyone's guess. Manchester United have a track record for developing high calibre young players, and are one of the few teams that actually look after their players once they leave the confines of their training ground.

Saying all that, he has been described as an excellent player to lead the line, and many pundits in Mexico have likened him to a young Carlos Tevez.

At 5"7', he lacks the height needed to be a target-man in the Premier League, but he is deceptively strong, has a very good first touch, and is lethal around the box when given half a chance.

Although Chicarito is undoubtedly one for the future, it would now seem certain that Sir Alex Ferguson has lost complete faith in Dimitar Berbatov.

There has been speculation all season that this might be his last at Old Trafford if his form did not improve. Wednesday's night snub when he was left on the bench for an injured Wayne Rooney would indicate that there has been a massive breakdown between the player and manager.

It is believed that United moved now to fend off impending interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona.

An obviously happy Sir Alex Ferguson had this to say: "I am delighted to have reached a deal to sign such an exciting young striker.

"He has been in prolific form for both his club and his country. He will be a great addition to our squad and we look forward to welcoming our first Mexican player in the summer."
"I feel like I am living a dream," Hernandez told MUTV.

"All the impressions I have of the club are good, and Sir Alex Ferguson is a great person, maybe the best coach in the world."

Should he, as expected, make Mexico's World Cup squad, United fans could be given their first glimpse of his talents when England take on the North Americans at Wembley in a friendly on 24 May.

"I hope to be at the World Cup, I have to work hard to win a place in the national team, then I might get a chance to play against England," Hernandez said.

As part of the deal, United have agreed to play a match to open the new 45,000 Chivas Stadium in Guadalajara.

"We are equally excited to play our first game in Mexico, opening the magnificent new Chivas Stadium in July," added Ferguson.

The youngster will most probably make his debut against his old team, as United gear up for what will be an incredibly important season for the club.

The first Mexican ever to wear the famous red of United is the Red Devils' second signing this year, after the club splashed out to land Chris Smalling from Arsene Wenger's clutches. Arsenal had tracked the Fulham player for over one year. While rumors have begun to circulate that United are tracking an unhappy Karim Benzema at Real Madrid.

By signing a player who is similar to Tevez, it will be as close as we get to Sir Alex Ferguson admitting in public that he allowed the wrong player to leave last summer...

twitter / WillieGannon