Striker | SD Huesca | Colombia
Bullish, stocky and relentlessly determined to make a difference, Juan Camilo Hernandez, nicknamed Cucho Hernandez, fits a stereotypical profile of any aspiring South American attacker. Is he an old fashioned number nine or better suited to an inside forward role? Simple answer to the question: it’s too early to tell. That’s also a debate which surrounds Richarlison at Everton, so it’s of little surprise that comparisons have been drawn between Cucho and the Brazilian boy wonder; not least for how their styles mirror one another, but also due to their connection with Watford.
Falcao is edging dangerously close to passing his sell by date and Cucho, a fellow Colombian, is beginning to make waves in European football. Convenient, eh? One door closes and another one opens; the circle of life. Cucho is unlikely to mould his style to become a complete centre-forward because he simply cannot resist the urge to oscillate across the final-third and collect the ball out wide, but that is where he is at his most effective.
His record in front of goal is enough to suggest he could yet become a clinical goal scorer for the Colombian national side, even if his style is somewhat unconventional.
2018 has been…
In a word: educational. His prolific record in La Liga B with SD Huesca has, unsurprisingly, not been emulated in La Liga following promotion. His record, though, must be taken with a pinch of salt. Strikers are seldom better than the players around them, so what chance does he have with Huesca rooted to the bottom of La Liga this season?
Cucho has scored seven goals and provided four assists in 2018, but he would certainly have boasted a better record had he avoided suffering the misfortune of a metatarsal fracture in January. Hot and cold spells have been par for the course for the 19-year-old, but what’s a wonderkid without spells of inconsistency?
What can be said is that Cucho has showcased fearlessness in the final-third against La Liga opposition this season, and we think his determination to make things happen, even when his long-range efforts are hopelessly off-target and his mazy slaloms immediately intercepted, is indicative of his enormous potential.
If you’re a Watford fan I suggest you begin writing a strongly worded Christmas card to Javi Gracia demanding one thing: keep Cucho, or else... Huesca will want him for the long-term but, with survival looking about as likely as a unanimous agreement on the finer details of Brexit, they will undoubtedly be priced out of a permanent deal, unless they manage to pull off a great escape.
So, Watford, don’t bother returning to South America in search of the next Richarlison. Save yourself the hassle; he’s staring you in the face! If Gracia has any sense then he will be licking his lips at the prospect of unleashing Cucho next season.
The IBWM team are gunning for Cucho to harness his potential and set the Premier League alight. The next potent sting in the Hornets’ attack could be set to make a piercing incision on English football in 2019.