The Scouting Report: 'Little Pea' presses for a chance on the big stage

Javier Hernandez, Mexico
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The Independent Football

If, as Javier Hernandez says, the result not the identity of the scorer matters, then he will hope not to emulate his grandfather. In the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland Tomas Balcazar found the net against France, although any joy was short-lived. The French were awarded a late penalty which provoked several members of the Mexico team to attack the referee. The spot-kick was converted by Raymond Kopa and France won.

Like France, Mexico have their own debate about centre-forwards. It does not carry the ferocity of that eddying around Thierry Henry but there are many, especially in Hernandez's home city of Guadalajara ,who believe that Blacazar's grandson should start in Polokwane today.

The 17-minute cameo he delivered against the hosts persuaded many that he should take the place of Guillermo Franco. Carlos Reinoso, one of Mexico's leading managers and now an analyst, thought the 22-year-old, who will join Manchester United next month, demanded inclusion; citing his pace, movement and the fact that he is "a little different" to the average striker, adding: "Chicharito looked lethal."

"Chicharito" is Hernandez's nickname, which means "Little Pea" – his father, Javier Hernandez Gutierrez, was "Big Pea", so called because of his green eyes. He also represented Mexico in a World Cup in 1986. Those who have seen him regularly for Chivas de Guadalajara describe his son as a natural, who scored with virtually his first touch on his debut against Necaxa. He came to United's attention through a friendship between a former Mexico international, Marco Garces, who was studying sports science in Liverpool, and their chief scout Jim Lawlor.

Lawlor spent three weeks in Mexico observing him – and it was a goal in a 2-0 victory over New Zealand that persuaded Lawlor that United should bid. Their offer was reported as anything between £7m-10m.

Information provided exclusively by The Scouting Network, a specialist agency which provides information for the leading clubs in Europe