Javier Hernandez Balcazar, also known as Chicarito (little pea), is Manchester United’s new Mexican summer signing. The deal was done in April and the North American will meet up with his new teammates for United’s American tour after the World Cup.
Sir Alex Ferguson moved quickly to secure the signature of the highly rated 21-year-old before the overtures of several Spanish clubs transformed into concrete bids. The move was so quick and so discrete in fact that Hernandez’s agent had very little knowledge of the deal before it was completed.
Hernandez was swiftly invited to Old Trafford along with his family, including his father who is himself a former Mexican international who played at the 1954 World Cup, receiving the nickname Chicharo (pea), hence Chicarito. He watched on from the stands as United failed to progress through to the semi-finals of the Champions League against Bayern Munich.
Hernandez joined C.D. Guadalajara (commonly known as Chivas) at the age of nine and made his professional debut in 2006 in a game against Necaxa. The forward came on as a substitute and finished the game with two goals to his name. Frustratingly, he had to wait until 2009, a gap of 23 appearances, before hitting the back of the net again. He then went on to score 11 goals in 17 appearances in the 2009 Clausura.
The Little Pea’s performances earned him a call-up to the national team and it was his performance in a 2-0 win over New Zealand that impressed the visiting United scout Jim Lawlor. United dealt with the club directly and discretely and eventually secured his signature on the 8th April for an undisclosed fee and an agreement to play a friendly against his old club later this year.