Mexico came and went from Copa América 2015 with the blink of an eye, as they became the first team to be eliminated from the competition, finishing bottom of Group A. Two draws and a defeat was never going to be enough for Miguel Herrera’s understrength side to progress and they’ll now focus their concentration on their summer priority; the 2015 Gold Cup. However, one player who may have left a legacy at the tournament is 22-year-old forward Jesús ‘Tecatito’ Corona.
The FC Twente winger won the Man of the Match award for his display against Bolivia in game one, provided the pass before the assist for Vuoso’s first against Chile and ran Ecuador ragged in the final group match. In an unsuccessful and largely forgettable tournament for El Tri, Corona, who has 8 caps for his country, produced special moments to excite and tease supporters.
Rafa Marquez’s second half substitution against Bolivia in game one marked the changing of the guard. It’s unlikely the 36-year-old defender will ever feature again at a major international tournament, whilst Tecatito, 14 years his junior, is the only Mexico player included in both the Copa América and Gold Cup squads.
There are technicalities for why this is the case. Dutch club Twente are in a dire financial situation and have given their youngster permission to extend his international venture, hoping the winger can catch the eye of a potential suitor in exchange for some much needed cash.
The 5’8″ forward has electric pace, great balance, a wide-range of skills and is comfortable twisting out of difficult positions. His performances in Chile look to have convinced boss Herrera to involve him in his first team plans for the Gold Cup in the US. Following on from a highly productive domestic campaign which saw him outscore the senior European based duo of Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernández and Carlos Vela with 9 goals in 27 games, Corona looks set for another bumper move.
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini and club Director of Football Txiki Begiristain were spotted at the Estadio Nacional in Santiago last week as the hosts drew 3-3 in a thrilling encounter with el Tri and both will have been impressed with the winger’s creativity and invention. His far-post cross for Juan Medina set up Vuoso’s opener and he showed grit and determination to win the corner that fellow youngster Rául Jiménez eventually turned in.
Despite this possible interest, a move to Eredivise rivals PSV Eindhoven (to play alongside legendary Mexico midfielder Andrés Guardado) is reportedly the more likely destination. Following the exit of star-player Memphis Depay to Premier League outfit Manchester United, the Dutch league champions are eyeing Tecatito as his heir apparent and have made him their number one target.
Dutch football website Voetbal believe Corona has already discussed terms with Phillip Cocu’s side but there are still negotiations to be had after the former Monterrey playmaker requested an annual salary of €1.5m; a figure no other Boeren player receives.
Mexico may have flopped at this year’s Copa but it could eventually prove to be the springboard that launched the career of one of the most exciting young talents in world football.