While the “no” to the Mexican National Team from Real Sociedad forward Carlos Vela has garnered the most attention on Mexico coach Miguel Herrera‘s European trip, meetings and chats with other Mexican players in Europe were just as important. One of those was the meeting that Herrera had with Villarreal midfielder/winger Javier Aquino.
Since Aquino made the move to the Spanish side in January 2013, he has been an integral part of a team that first won promotion back to La Liga for the 2013-14 season. During this current season, he has been integral in helping the ‘Yellow Submarines” to currently find fifth place in the league standings, three points behind Athletic Bilbao for fourth and the final Champions League spot.
While 2013 season was a good one for Aquino on the club level like the vast majority of Mexican players who played significant minutes of the National Team in 2013, it was not a good one. Therefore, to hear that he expressed great desire to play for Mexico and wants to get revenge for what was the 2013 season bodes well for the country heading into the 2014 World Cup, and for Herrera as coach.
Aquino is a player who can be a very valuable contributor either as a starter or coming on as a substitute. Looking at the potential starting 11 from Herrera, it is hard to see Aquino displacing Carlos Pena as the starting right-sided midfielder or Paul Aguilar as the right wing-back.
That said, he can come in and relieve either Pena or Aguilar to give Mexico fresh legs in two positions where the players will run quite a bit. Aquino can be that speedster who helps Mexico preserve a lead or potentially chase a draw if needed. Given his current form, his positional flexibility and his eagerness, it is clear that Aquino has a place on ‘El Tri’ at the World Cup coming up this summer.