Derek McInnes hopes new Aberdeen signing Ronald Hernandez can fulfil his significant potential at Pittodrie.
Hernandez joined from Norwegian side Stabaek on a four-and-a-half-year deal yesterday for an undisclosed fee and McInnes believes he is a player that will excite the Aberdeen supporters.
The full-back has 15 caps for Venezuela and joined Stabaek from Zamora in his homeland in 2017. He had also flagged up on the radar of the Dons partner club Atlanta United, who have Venezuelan international Josef Martinez in their ranks.
McInnes says Hernandez is keen to get his Dons career under way and their commitment in bringing him to Scotland indicates their belief in his ability.
He said: “When I first spoke to Ronny, he was keen to come and experience the Scottish Premiership with Aberdeen. He’s got 15 caps for Venezuela and played against Argentina and Colombia. He’s an attacking full-back, he can play as a wing-back and plays like a winger in the opposition half. Fans will like him – he’s got a fair bit of speed about him and he’s an exciting player. I’m sure he’ll fit in well here.
“He’s a player we’ve been monitoring for a while. He first came to our attention six months ago and we’ve kept tabs on him. It’s one of the leagues we’ve been concentrating on, the Norwegian league, and we thought it was going to be a challenge to get him out of there.
“We’ve paid a fee to get him here and part of the reason we do that is because of his age. We think is a player that is going to improve. We get him into the team and hopefully he realises that full potential for us. He’s a young player but has done enough in the last couple of seasons to suggest he’s going the right way. It’s a coup for us to get him here.”
Hernandez has played in the under-20 World Cup final for Venezuela and in the Copa America last year, when he came up against Brazil and Argentina.
McInnes added: “It shows you where we are, with the collaboration with Atlanta, as he showed up on their recruitment system and jointly we’ve got to know him better. Atlanta have several Venezuelan players and that allowed us to make inroads in the possibility of bringing him to Aberdeen. I was told right at the outset that he never spoke any English, which was a concern.
“But he can speak English – there’s no issues in having conversations with him. It helps us and gives us a bit more peace of mind that he went to Norway, settled in there, dealt with the climate. He’s bright, eager, fully aware of British football. He’s a boy who’s eager to get started and make an impression.
“In this instance there was a lot of protocol with permits and getting people out there. We have had club representatives out in Paris to do the medical, to make sure everything goes in time when you are pushing to beat the transfer deadline.
“This is a signing we have wanted to do from the start of the window, but due to complications getting things agreed thankfully we have managed to get there.”