Angelo Henriquez was a footballer who somehow managed to generate considerable excitement among Manchester United fans before most had even seen him play.
It may, in part, have been to do with Javier Hernandez’s signing two years previously – another young striker who appeared as if from nowhere and subsequently proved that some people are simply born knowing where the goal is.
Given that the teenage Henriquez had scored 11 goals in 17 league games for Universidad de Chile the previous season, it looked as though Sir Alex Ferguson had bagged another goal-scoring bargain.
Due to his age, he was never going to be thrust straight into the United first-team, and despite netting during David Moyes’ first pre-season, it was decided he would spend the new campaign in Spain with Real Zaragoza.
Very quickly, it appeared to be a very smart move indeed, with the striker scoring four times in his first four starts for the second-tier club, including a brace in a 4-2 victory over Mallorca.
In short, it looked as though he was going to be one of the success stories of the season. And yet he has scored only one more goal since that outstanding start, not netting – or providing an assist – since 9 November.
A spell of four starts without a goal saw him relegated to the bench for the match against Sabadell, and while he returned to the starting line-up for the following game at home to Real Murcia, he has barely featured since.
For the last two Segunda Division matches – against CD Mirandes and Barcelona B – he has had to watch the whole 90 minutes from the bench; this despite the fact that he netted against Real Madrid’s B side in only his second start back in September.
There is still time for him to turn his season around, and at 19, we should not expect too much too soon. But having started his loan-spell in such dramatic fashion, he has been on quite a comedown ever since.
image: © markscottjohnson