Who? What? Who?
Many will be waking up this Friday to the news that Manchester United, dumped out of the Champions League this week to Bayern Munich, have sought to soften the blow signing little known 21-year-old striker Javier Hernandez Balcazar, also known as “Chicarito Hernandez.” But, for all those cynics who may think this may just be another way for Ferguson and his cohorts to distract attention away from bigger more pressing failures, we’re here to tell you that Chicarito is the real deal, and the young Mexican has big big potential.
Up until the beginning of the 2009/10 season, Javier Hernandez was best known in his native Mexico for his genes rather than his own talents. His father, Javier “Chicharo” Hernandez, was part of Mexico’s 1986 World Cup squad while his grandfather was also an icon at Chivas Guadalajara, having scored over 50 goals for them including the 500th goal in the club’s history.
Having a strong family history put Javier Hernandez on the map, but when he got his opportunity to begin his own chapter of the family football history he seized the opportunity with both hands.
His debut for Chivas could barely have been an more spectacular, scoring his first goal just five minutes after he came on as a substitute back in 2006 against Necaxa. (Watch here.) Yet, despite showing some glimpses of his talent during his first three years as a professional player, it was far from clear whether Hernandez would be able to deal with the expectation on his shoulders as part of such a rich footballing family having only chalked up five goals in 36 appearances between 2006-2009.
But the start of the 2009/10 season was to change everything. This season Hernandez has been on fire and it doesnâ€™t appear that his form will dry up any time soon. He scored 11 goals in 17 matches during the Apertura tournament (the first half of the season), leading his club to the playoffs and was also named as a candidate for “Striker of the tournament”. With the Clausura (second half of the season) now underway Hernandez has amassed a season’s record of played 28, scored 21 with one assist to boot.
Hernandez has shown great striking instincts this past year. Inside the box, where he scores most of his goals, he has been clinical and efficient. In particular, his movement and anticipation are two of his brightest qualities. And, while he stands just 1.73m/5.68ft tall, he has good aerial presence and heading talents.
Hernandez is currently best known inside of Mexico and made his debut for the Mexico national team back in September 2009. As long as Chicarito continues to display high caliber performances during the season, he is likely to be included in the Mexican World Cup squad.
Finally, video evidence of Javier Hernandez can be seen here.