Jesus “Tecatito” Corona has had to bully his way out of Monterrey over the summer and looks to have finally got his way by agreeing a deal to sign for Twente FC in Holland’s Eredivisie.
His headstrong desire to leave home and demand a transfer bodes well as the next generation of Mexicans look to build on youth level success and make an impact on the big stage. After all, if Corona had wanted to stay in the comforts of home, there would surely have been a lucrative contract offer from Monterrey.
“My challenge now is to get there, pass the physical and medical, consolidate myself in the team and then we’ll see,” Corona told the awaiting press in Monterrey’s main airport before departing for Holland.
Corona’s skill set is not in doubt. His balance on the ball, speed and the touch of arrogance he possesses should mean he steps up into the Dutch league without too much problem, at least in terms of on the field. It should also be remembered that “Tecatito” already has over 50 first team games for Los Rayados under his belt.
There are areas of the game that also need improving, most notably his decision-making in the final third, but challenging himself in Europe is the best and fastest way to learn. Corona will certainly get a different perspective on the game and, at 20, is far from the peak of his career.
There will be an adjustment stage, but with pressure at Twente not as great as at clubs such as PSV or Ajax, Corona should be given time to get used to his new environment and the playing style.
The doubt – as with other Mexican players - is whether he can settle, but perhaps the fact that Twente is based in Enschede - a town of 150,000 people located close to the German border – should be a positive. The focus will be on soccer, away from the distractions of the big city.
Also, Twente meeting the recession clause in Corona’s contract with Monterrey – rumored to be $5 million USD – shows the club is taking the signing very seriously, which isn’t always the case when a player moves overseas on a free transfer at the end of his contract.
Over the next 10 months, there are plenty of stepping stones that Corona needs to negotiate – sign, debut, first goal, established first teamer, etc - but the ambition for the player should be no less than getting into the Mexico squad for the Brazil World Cup, assuming El Tri qualify.
That may sound a little over the top and it is a long way off, but Corona has the talent and there is a place in the squad for a player of his raw ability. Corona could fulfill the role of an impact substitute, something Mexico don’t have in abundance present – a player who can open the game up with a bit of skill or trickery.
Corona’s progress in Europe should be fascinating to watch.