New Manchester United signing Angelo Henriquez has all the attributes to follow in Chicharito's footsteps

The teenage striker completed his move to Old Trafford on Wednesday and looks at his various qualities and how he could be set to emulate his Mexican clubmate
By Ewan Roberts

His name will no be splashed all over the back pages and children will not be scrambling to have Manchester United's latest recruit emblazoned on the back of their shirt, but while his transfer did not carry the fanfare and furore of Robin van Persie's high-profile arrival at Old Trafford, Angelo Henriquez quietly jetted in at Carrington on Wednesday to become the club's fifth summer arrival.

So who is he?

Angelo Jose Henriquez Iturra was born in Santiago, Chile on April 13, 1994. He joined home town club Universidad de Chile at the age of 13 in 2007. Like a surprisingly large number of footballers, Henriquez was forced to choose between tennis and football in his early teens. Thankfully for United, he opted for the latter.

Date of birth
Place of birth
Squad number
Angelo Henriquez
Santiago, Chile
Manchester United
In 2009, just two years later, Manchester United – highlighting the enormity and depth of their scouting network – reached a first option agreement with Universidad de Chile for the purchase of Henriquez.

It would be a further two years before Henriquez made his first professional appearance for the club, though he had to bide his time before becoming a first-team regular. After the departure of senior striker Gustavo Canales, manager Jorge Sampaoli entrusted Henriquez with a spot in his starting XI.

His first goal in senior football came in the Copa Libertadores against Argentine side Gody Cruz. Henriquez scored the fifth goal in a 5-1 win for the Chilean side.

Since then Henriquez has been in dazzling goalscoring form. The striker has netted 15 times in 28 competitive games, securing his berth as the number one forward. He's been prolific at Under-20 international level too, scoring 14 times in nine games in 2012.

Henriquez showed further glimpses of his ability in the South American Under-17 Championships. Chile largely underwhelmed, going out in the group phase, but Henriquez’s three goals in four games hinted at an ability that superseded that of his peers.

Henriquez is predominantly a poacher, and yet so much more. Well-built (at just a shade under six foot), athletic and very quick, the forward offers a number of different physical threats, and can hurt the opposition in any number of ways.

There are a lot of similarities to be made between Henriquez and Chicharito. Both are 'fox-in–the-box' style predators, eminently two-footed, who can finish clinically with almost any part of their body.

Both strikers look to run in behind defences, break the offside trap, use their significant pace to break free of the last man and slot the ball past the goalkeeper. Unlike Chicharito, Henriquez is a more confident dribbler, and is prepared to take players on with the ball.

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Henriquez is cool, calm and composed in front of goal, he appears to have more time in the box than most players, is measured and intelligent with the ball. His qualities have earned him favourable comparisons with former United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy in his native country.

Yet, despite his obvious ability, approximately £3.5 million seems an extraordinary amount of money for an 18-year old from Chile, but it is a market that has bred talented, if expensive, youngsters in the past. The likes of Mauricio Isla, Eduardo Vargas and Alexis Sanchez made the move from Chile to Europe successfully.

Sanchez’s rise from Cobreloa all the way to Barcelona was unquestionably helped by the apprenticeship he served on loan with Colo-Colo and River Plate in Chile and Argentina respectively. Match time educated and improved Sanchez, but that is likely to be denied Henriquez at United.

The Manchester club already have four established strikers on their books in Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Danny Welbeck and Chicharito, and the Chilean is likely to be limited to League Cup appearances.

The difference in culture and weather could also be a potential stumbling block in Henriquez's acclimatisation. The vast majority of Chilean exports have moved to the more familiar landscapes of the Mediterranean, while the only Chileans in England currently are West Brom's Gonzalo Jara and Wigan's Jean Beausejour.

Should Henriquez adapt to life in England and the increased intensity and physicality of Premier League football, Manchester United may have snared the bargain of this summer's transfer window.

Blessed with deadly pace, frightening composure and an inherent ability to be in the right place at the right time, Henriquez could be a long-term replacement for the ageing Van Persie.

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