Football

Columbus Crew sign Cucho Hernandez from Watford in club-record deal

Columbus Crew sign Cucho Hernandez from Watford in club-record deal
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The Columbus Crew acquired striker Juan Camilo « Cucho » Hernandez from England’s Watford in a record-setting deal, the club announced on Tuesday.

The 23-year-old Colombian has signed a contract which will run through 2025.

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Sources told ESPN on Monday that Crew had agreed a transfer fee of just over $10 million with the English Championship side.

« Cucho is a world-class player who is still at an early stage of his career, and we could not be more excited to welcome him to the Columbus Crew, » Tim Bezbatchenko, Crew president and general Manager said.

« Our goal was to sign a forward who would not only be an individual attacking threat, but who would make us more dangerous as a team.

« Cucho is a versatile attacker whose agility, mobility and unpredictability make him a constant threat for opponents as he has demonstrated while playing against top-level opponents in some of the best leagues in Europe. »

Hernandez appeared in 28 matches for Watford in 2021-22 and contributed five goals and three assists.

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He made his Watford debut in a Premier League match against Aston Villa on Aug 14, 2021, and scored just 49 seconds after coming off the bench.

Columbus coach Caleb Porter said: « Signing a top-level player at the striker position was our main priority this transfer window and we are ecstatic to sign an elite difference-maker like Cucho.

« Despite being just 23 years of age, he has shown a nose for goal against top level European opposition, and we firmly believe that he will flourish in our league.

« We are excited to get to work with Cucho and know the quality he brings to our squad will be a massive lift for our season. »

After making his pro debut in Colombia in 2015, Hernandez played for Spain’s SD Huesca from 2017-19 and tallied 20 goals and nine assists in 70 games.

He joined LaLiga side RCD Mallorca in 2019-20 and posted five goals and one assist in 24 appearances.

Remaining in LaLiga with Getafe CF in 2020-21, he scored two goals and added three assists in 23 games.

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