Abel Hernandez has contended that he’s been reborn and reveals his ambitions for the future.
The Uruguay international is currently plying his trade in Italy’s Serie B, remaining with Palermo after the club were relegated from the top flight last term.
Heralded as a great talent upon his arrival in the peninsula – where he linked up with countryman Edinson Cavani at the Stadio Renzo Barbera – the man nicknamed ‘La Joya’ never truly hit top gear in the first division.
Like other youngsters, the striker’s commitment to his craft was questioned as he gained a reputation for being preoccupied with matters away from the pitch.
Nonetheless, clubs remained wary of Hernandez’s considerable skill and reportedly have tried to lure him from the Rosanero – Arsenal on deadline day of the summer transfer window and Sunderland in June.
He is in excellent form for the 23-year-old this term – scoring 12 goals in 20 Serie B appearances to date.
But Hernandez – who says he’s given up nightlife at the behest of his parents – has admitted he has eyes for St James’ Park and the Spanish capital.
“Enough with nightclubs,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport. “Instead I go to church with my mother and score goals to get back to Serie A.
“I am reborn because we have to win the Serie B title.
“I decided to stay – I owed it to [Palermo owner Maurizio] Zamparini and the fans.
“In the future I dream of Newcastle United, Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid.”
Hernandez’s words suggest he’s keen on trying his hand once more in Italy’s premier competition, in which he returned just 16 goals in 61 appearances.
Palermo sit top of the table and look a good bet for promotion back to Serie A, so he may just get his wish in an expedient manner.
But for Newcastle, the Uruguayan is certainly one to keep an eye on. If he can prove himself in Serie A next season, his desire to feature on Tyneside could make for the netting of a talent with renewed resolve.
At 23 the South American still has plenty of upside – and apparently the motivation to come good on it.
So if the Magpies heed his call, down the road they could have potentially have a gifted individual on their hands – of course, that is if everything goes to plan, and he stays out of the city's nightclubs.
image: © jikatu