Swansea City: Pablo Hernandez 'is like signing an Arsenal star'
MICHAEL Laudrup reckons Swansea City have pulled off a transfer coup which equates to signing an Arsenal star after they clinched a £5.5 million deal for Pablo Hernandez.
Wideman Hernandez is due in Wales today to finalise his club record-equalling switch from Spanish giants Valencia.
As Hernandez arrives, Scott Sinclair is saying his goodbyes.
The former Chelsea flyer was at the Etihad Stadium for a medical last night after finally Swansea agreed a fee of £6.2 million plus add-ons with Manchester City.
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And while Laudrup believes Sinclair will face a battle to shine in Roberto Mancini’s star-studded squad, the Swansea manager expects Hernandez to be a huge hit at the Liberty.
“Valencia is the third biggest club in Spain, like Arsenal over here, for us to get Pablo to come here is fantastic for us,” said the Swansea manager.
“It’s been a difficult transfer for a lot of reasons, but the big thing was that he really wanted to come and join Swansea.
“He wanted specifically to come and play for us and that’s great for us.
“As a manager, you only want players who want to play for your club, and Scott had decided he wanted to move on.
“You don’t want a player whose head is in another place, and the big thing with Pablo was that he really wanted to join us.”
Hernandez is heading for the Premier League having done enough at Valencia to win four Spanish caps.
He did not play as often as he would have liked last season, however, and was desperate to hook up with Laudrup, his old boss at Getafe.
“He is a player who can play on both sides, he can play between the lines, he is tactically very good, he is very fast and one v one he is strong,” Laudrup added.
“He will fit perfectly into this team — and he also has the right mentality.
“He is different from the other players we have brought in because he comes from a really big club, but he still wants to go on in his career and that’s very important.
“He did very well for me at Getafe, and he has played 27 Champions League games in the last three seasons.
“I am sure he will adapt to the Premier League. He will have a lot of help from Angel (Rangel), Michu and Chico (Flores).
“I don’t know how good his English is, but if he needs to he can learn it like Chico — walking round with a little book in his hand.”
Former Wigan player Sinclair should have no trouble adapting to life in Manchester, but there are some who feel he may struggle for game-time at City.
Mancini has a host of attacking talent at his disposal, with the likes of David Silva, Samir Nasri and Mario Balotelli among those fighting for a place in the champions’ starting side.
“The competition for Scott will be big,” Laudrup said.
“It will be difficult, and of course he will probably not play 90 minutes every Saturday.
“But I think we have to be careful about judging people from the outside.
“I don’t know what his contract up there will be, whether he can leave if he is not playing.
“But as a player you only play for a certain time and you don’t know what you will get in the future.
“People could say he should stay for another year with us, but you don’t know whether you will get the same offers in 12 months because the other club might have signed a different player by then.
“I think Scott is aware that it will be difficult for him at Manchester City. He has thought about that before making his decision, and I wish him the best.”
Hernandez, 27, is expected to sign a three-year Swansea deal before the transfer window closes at 11pm tonight, but he will not feature in tomorrow’s Premier League clash with Sunderland.
The Sinclair deal is understood to include a sell-on clause.