New Middlesbrough signing Onel Hernandez has revealed manager Neil Warnock, newly-appointed Head of Football Kieran Scott and Norwich City centre-back Ben Gibson were all instrumental in his move to the Riverside Stadium, in his first interview with the Teesside outfit’s media team.
The Cuban 28-year-old joined the Championship side from Premier League new boys Norwich last Sunday on a season-long loan deal, going a long way in addressing the lack of depth and quality they had out wide after losing Marvin Johnson and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing in the summer.
In return, the winger is likely to receive a regular amount of game time under manager Warnock after becoming a less regular player at Carrow Road as time went on, making just 21 second-tier appearances for the Canaries last term and coming off the bench in 15 of those games.
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After failing to make a single Premier League appearance so far this term, he will now ply his trade in the division below with a team who will be wanting to push for a top-six spot under a manager who has won several Championship promotions with the likes of Sheffield United, Queens Park Rangers and Cardiff City.
He was just one of three men who make this potential move a reality and speaking about this in detail to Middlesbrough’s media team five days after his arrival, he said (quotes via Teesside Live): “I had a lot of good conversations with important people, from Kieran Scott to the coach (Neil Warnock). Ben Gibson as well. I spoke to Ben and he said there are amazing people (at Middlesbrough).
“I’m happy to be here. I will definitely try and give my best.
“He’s (Warnock) an incredible manager with a lot of promotions. I spoke to players who trained under him and they all said he’s amazing.”
If this loan move works out well at Boro wish to sign him permanently, they will have to fork out a transfer fee for his services with his contract at parent club Norwich City not due to expire until the summer of 2023.
Kieran Scott has only just arrived at Middlesbrough as Head of Football from Hernandez’s parent club in Norfolk, so he probably played the most important part in bringing Hernandez to the Riverside Stadium.
And it’s even a surprise he didn’t bring more players with him, especially someone like Jordan Hugill who is proven at this level and was available on a loan deal for quite a while before being snapped up by West Bromwich Albion last month.
Boro were obviously on the prowl for a forward with Andraz Sporar coming in as an unknown quantity in the Championship, so it’s surprising a move for Hugill didn’t materialise.
The Teesside outfit also owe a great debt to Ben Gibson for his kind words about the club, but you would have no doubt playing for Neil Warnock would be a major pull too.
With his character and the managerial promotions he has on his CV, the 72-year-old won’t settle for anything less than a push for the top six and this should be a source of real excitement for the new arrival who will be desperate to make an impact up north.