Erick Torres Padilla 19 Striker Club Deportivo Guadalajara (Chivas)
It is frankly impossible to get through a profile or discussion on Erick Torres Padilla without mentioning the man whose place he eventually ended up taking in the Club Deportivo Guadalajara starting line-up. Erick “El Cubo” Torres will, for the time being at least, be labelled as the “next Javier Hernandez” in everything that he does. Although, it is reasonably fair to say that the pair have more in common than being Mexican, starting their careers at the same club and being strikers. It is an easy comparison that lucks out at being rather accurate; unfortunately.
It was of course Hernandez’s departure from Chivas to Manchester United that originally opened the door for Torres to join up with the first team and since his debut in November 2010, he has grown steadily and established himself in the team at the very tender age of 19. His club are doing a very good job of protecting the youngster from himself.
A hometown boy, Torres continues to speak of his pride at pulling on the legendary red and white strips of Chivas and it’s easy to get the impression that if he was allowed to, he’d play every minute of every game. The five managers that Torres has played under so far at Chivas have made sure he hasn’t been allowed to run himself into the ground.
His initial return of goals saw him earning national honours as well; though he will have to go some before he can oust Chicharito as the leading striker in the Mexican team. Unsurprisingly, Manchester United are already said to be fans of Torres. Sir Alex Ferguson and his scouting staff are well liked at Chivas thanks to the manner of their dealings when working on the transfer of Hernandez and would probably be first in line when the time comes for Torres to move on.
That moment isn’t just yet. El Cubo has plenty of learning to do and the Liga MX is a much nicer place to work on his game than the reserve side of any European super club. The other stumbling block may be Chivas’ eagerness to get their money’s worth for Torres rather than selling him cheaply like they appeared to do with Hernandez. Though the figure remains undisclosed, it is said that the Mexican club did not drive a hard bargain.
Torres as a player, as we said, is rather similar to Hernandez. No doubt, there are products of the fine youth set-up at Chivas. El Cubo comes alive around the penalty area, preferring as few touches as possible before either shooting or laying off to a team-mate. He can score with both feet as well as possessing an aerial ability much stronger than his stature suggests.
His positional sense is good but needs work; though he does enjoy playing with his back to goal more than his predecessor has shown for Manchester United.
For now, Erick just needs to focus on sticking the ball in the back of the net constantly. He is a regular for the Mexican under-23 national team and has been called into a handful of the senior squads. As long as he keeps doing what he does best, he’ll get more and more chances to impress in the national side. The rest should take care of itself.
“Harnessed with "the next Chicharito" label, “El Cubo” has just three league goals in 2012 after breaking into the Chivas first team with a spree of goals. Torres is currently being linked with a loan move after Christmas to another Liga MX club or even MLS. The caveat? Chicharito also had a monumental slump when he was Torres' age.” - Tom Marshall (The Mexican Soccer Show, ESPN)
C All you need to worry about is putting the ball in the goal