For many years now, Sir Alex Ferguson has been buying promising youth projects and developing them into world class football players. The signing of young Chilean striker Angelo Henriquez therefore should be met with genuine excitement.
Henriquez has an impressive scoring record for his previous club Universidad de Chile, scoring 11 goals in 17 appearances although the Chilean league is some way off the standard that he will face in the Premier League. Henriquez has also performed well for Chile at a number of levels, U15, U17, U20 and U23, scoring a combined 21 goals in 18 appearances.
Sir Alex was quick to heap praise on his new signing claiming that his pace and strength will allow him to fit perfectly into the United Squad. Sir Alex said that after a number of highly impressive performances at the Milk Cup in Northern Ireland, his scouts told him that they had to bring him to the club. It is likely that Henriquez will begin his Manchester United career by plying his trade in the under-21 league and possibly getting a run out in the League Cup.
I don’t see Henriquez immediately challenging any of the already established strikers at Manchester United. Even with Dimitar Berbatov gone, United still have Rooney, Van Persie, Welbeck and Hernandez all higher than Henriquez in the pecking order. Sir Alex will no doubt have a plan for Henriquez’ development and it could entail a loan spell for the striker to get him some Premier League experience in the hope that he will return to the club with a knowledge of the English game.
This could very easily put a number of strikers at Manchester United under pressure. Will Keane is a favourite of Sir Alex at Manchester United but his season long injury could mean that Henriquez is able to take the spotlight and place himself firmly in the mind of Fergie when selecting teams.
Macheda would also need to watch his back, the Italian was impressive with late goals against Aston villa to help United win the title in the 2010-2011 season but has been unimpressive ever since.
As for the likes of Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez, I believe that they are relatively safe for the time being. At only 18, Henriquez has plenty of time to make a name for himself at United and it will take a few seasons before he is playing any regular premier league football.
All in all, I think that this is a good move for both Manchester United and Angelo Henriquez himself. Henriquez will get to avail from world class facilities to train and have some of the finest coaches in football. He will also get to train with the likes of Rooney and Van Persie who have invaluable knowledge and experience that can only benefit the young man. Manchester United benefit by getting their hands on another highly rated prospect.
With the right tutoring and monitoring, Angelo Henriquez could become a real talent and an Old Trafford favourite.
Written by Ryan McDowell
Follow him on Twitter @dowelly_
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