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Cucho Hernandez switch: Columbus Crew signal Watford’s Colombian striker, paying club-record $10 million price


The Columbus Crew’s assault may very well be getting a elevate with the upcoming arrival of Juan “Cucho” Hernandez on a club-record deal. The Crew are including Hernadez after Watford’s relegation from the Premier League, paying a report $10 million switch price. 

The earlier report switch for the membership is held by Lucas Zelarayan, who moved from Tigres for $8 million. It is a transfer that has labored out thus far for the Crew after 20 targets and 6 main assists, whereas additionally profitable MLS Cup and the Campeones Cup. 

The transfer was confirmed days after this cryptic tweet pointing to one thing coming down the pike. 

In 25 Premier League matches, Hernandez scored 5 targets and assisted two extra taking part in for granted winger primarily, whereas additionally showing as a middle ahead or popping up on the left. Whereas these numbers could not leap off the web page, contemplating that Watford solely scored 34 targets all season, which was the second-worst quantity within the Premier League, being concerned in seven targets is not dangerous in any respect.

Since transferring Gyasi Zardes to the Colorado Rapids in April, there was hypothesis as to what the Crew would do to fill their void at ahead now that they’d an open designated participant spot. Mauro Manotas was a reputation that got here up, however Hernandez was their prime goal over the previous Houston Dynamo striker. With the membership in eleventh place out of 14 within the Jap Convention, touchdown him might get them into the playoff push.

This is what to know:

Why are the Crew chasing Hernandez?

To start, we’ve got to move down a rabbit gap of underperforming forwards. This season, the highest scorer on the Crew is Zelarayan, which is predicted, however on account of accidents, he hasn’t logged 900 minutes but this season. Miguel Berry, who gave the Crew the arrogance to maneuver Zardes, has solely scored two targets, helping none. It left fairly a void atop the formation for Caleb Porter’s males that damage the assault as a complete. Derrick Etienne has been extremely efficient with three targets and 5 assists from the wing, however he and Zelarayan cannot do it alone. 

Hernandez would be capable to step in taking set performs when Zelerayan is not obtainable and supply an aerial goal as he received about three headers per 90 minutes performed within the Premier League. Providing a excessive work fee and above-average ending, Hernandez might help the Crew assault push the tempo and create fairly a harmful assault to go round. Whereas he’d primarily play as a striker, the flexibility to play each place in an attacking three can be helpful for Porter because it permits him to combine and match his lineups.

Why would Hernandez need the transfer?

MLS is popping right into a springboard for younger gamers all over the world as they’re in a position to come to America, and in the event that they carry out nicely, get a much bigger transfer elsewhere. For Hernandez, if he needs to show that he can play as a striker and never a winger, MLS is the right place for him to do it as main the Crew to the playoffs with a 15-goal season or higher would absolutely see him transfer again overseas.

If issues do not work out that manner, MLS remains to be an excellent vacation spot with good play, devoted followers, and top-notch amenities, which is why you are seeing increasingly more Europe-based gamers make the transfer stateside. Whereas the transfer possible signifies that groups in Europe did not wish to meet Watford’s asking value, it additionally might see Hernandez come to the Crew with a chip on his shoulder to attempt to transfer again. That will be a win-win for each events.

Practical expectations

Being a summer season signing is difficult as there may be rapid strain to return in and assist the staff carry out. The Crew have struggled this season as they’re presently three factors under the playoff line however would want to go 4 groups to get there. The excellent news is, whereas they’ve struggled, the protection has been fairly good permitting solely 17 targets throughout 14 matches. There may be loads of room for enchancment in an assault that has been one of many worst in MLS, therefore the necessity for Hernandez, however with Darlington Nagbe, Zelerayan, and Etienne, the core is there so Hernandez will not have to do all the pieces.

Assuming the transfer occurs, he might start coaching with the staff and have a little bit of time to get settled earlier than the summer season switch window opens on July seventh. This might see him probably debut on July ninth away in opposition to the Chicago Fireplace. The 2 to 3 weeks of coaching may very well be all that he must hit the bottom operating for the remaining 20 video games of the season. I might mark being concerned in ten targets as a hit for him, assuming he is obtainable for each match, however one thing alongside the strains of a objective contribution each different recreation can be fairly a boon. It might additionally possible see the Crew make the playoffs, which is sort of a hit in yr one.

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