Jurgen Damm may not currently be a household name in Mexico, but he very well could be soon.
The speedy Estudiantes Tecos right winger, 20, was called for a two-week trial at Manchester United this past January and knows the Premier League club is still keeping tabs on his development at his Guadalajara team.
“They told me they liked my skills a lot and everything, but that I need to have more muscle and more intelligence to play faster,” Damm told Goal.com in Guadalajara recently.
The Old Trafford club sent Damm back to Mexico with a special diet and work-out regime, which he is adhering to “perfectly” in order have every chance of returning to Manchester.
“I’ve always said my natural physique is skinny, but they told me I need to build some more muscle,” said Damm. “Manchester did some tests and sent me a program for the gym and for eating.”
Unlike other Mexican youngsters, Damm wouldn’t have to meet work permit regulations if he moved to England thanks to the EU passport he currently holds through his German-born grandfather, who immigrated to Mexico in the 1930s. He is fluent in Spanish, English and German.
According to the player’s representative, there are two or three Spanish clubs also interested in his services and even if a move to the Red Devils doesn’t materialize, he is likely to try his luck the other side of the Atlantic come the summer.
In Manchester, Damm, who lived in Toronto, Canada for two years as a child, was naturally nervous about training with the likes of Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs and Robin Van Persie, but it was his fellow countryman Javier Hernandez who gave him the words of wisdom to boost his confidence.
“I talked with everyone, but the one who gave me advice was Chicharito because I was with him in the afternoons and before training I went to his house,” remembered Damm. “He told me to always give 100 percent in all trainings and to always be positive that I have the skills to do well so I can stay.”
Damm admits that he was with the Hernandez family more than at his hotel during his stint in the north of England.
“He invited me to his box in Old Trafford when they were playing against Fulham,” enthused the winger, who started his professional career across town at Atlas. “For two weeks they asked if I wanted to go eat with them, if I wanted to go to the mall...”
Enthusiastic, educated, well-spoken and with the same wide-eyed facial expression, it’s hard not to see similarities between Damm and Hernandez. One difference is that Hernandez had already made a name for himself in Mexico’s top league when he started garnering attention from the likes of Manchester United, whereas Damm has only played once in the country’s first division and is already turning heads overseas.
On the other hand, late-developer Chicharito had only played a handful of games and scored just once for Chivas in Mexico’s top flight when he was Damm’s age.
Damm acknowledges he was hoping to remain in Manchester to gain experience playing for the reserve side, but is upbeat and hopeful that someday he can accomplish his dream of playing for the Red Devils.
“They told me they were going to call me again, but they didn’t say an exact date,” stated Damm. “If there is some possibility of going back, it would be wonderful.”
For now though, Damm is concerned with helping Estudiantes Tecos secure a playoff place and get back into Mexico’s first division, something he says is his short-term priority.
After that, a summer move is a strong possibility, with just the destination still to be decided.
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