Eintracht Frankfurt have had their transfer offer accepted by Chivas Guadalajara as Chivas attacking midfielder/striker Marco Fabián will head to Germany over the winter break. Die Adler will hope that they can duplicate the success that Bayer Leverkusen has had with Mexican international Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez, who also played for the iconic Chivas club before joining Manchester United. It is said that Frankfurt will pay 4 million dollars and grant a three-year contract for Fabián’s signature.
Fabián, 26, was born in Guadalajara and came up in the Chivas’ youth ranks. He made his first senior side appearance for the Goats in 2007 against Jaguares de Chiapas. The Mexican international has played his entire club career with Chivas except for a year-long loan at another popular Mexican club, Cruz Azul, where he scored eight goals in 31 matches. Fabián scored three goals, on 26 shots, and had two assists for Chivas in the recently completed 2015 Apertura. He started nine of the club’s 17 league games, and came in as a substitute in four others. Over his career Fabián has notched 49 goals in 194 Chivas fixtures.
Fabián also brings in the experience of being a Mexican international, with 25 senior squad caps and 23 more appearances for Mexican youth sides. Fabián was a member of Mexico’s 2014 World Cup squad, and also has experience in Copa America, the CONCACAF Gold Cup and the Olympics, where he won a Gold Medal in 2012.
There is a downside to the signing of Fabián, and that being his decision-making in the past. He was one of eight Mexican players suspended just prior to the 2011 Copa America for breaking the national team’s disciplinary codes while in Quito. Also in 2011, Fabián had the poor taste to celebrate a goal by mocking an execution, according to an ESPN FC article by Tom Marshall, in a nation torn by drug-cartel violence.
In addition, Fabián’s time at Chivas has corresponded with one of the worst spells of performance in the history of the Mexican giants, who have won 11 titles in Mexico’s professional era of club football, but only have a 2015 Apertura Copa MX championship to show during Fabián’s time at the club. Chivas’ last league title came just before Fabián joined the senior squad, and thus he is a subject of a great deal of criticism for fans of the club that is the only Liga MX side made exclusively, and purposefully, of Mexican players. And at only 5’7″ it would seem that Fabián will be at a severe disadvantage in the air against Bundesliga rivals.
Despite the pressure on Fabián at Chivas and the indiscretions he pulled off at a younger age, though, this may be a great signing for Frankfurt. As Marshall points out
Fabian’s natural footballing talent is indisputable. His balance and poise on the ball is impeccable, too. Equally adept on either foot, he can play on either wing or as an attacking midfielder and breezes past defenders as if they are not there. Fabian also has that knack of scoring spectacular goals that help win fans over.
Fabián was actively seeking a move to Europe, and he realizes that this is the golden opportunity that he’s been waiting for. As he remarked at Friday’s press conference
The train only comes by once. Today I’ve decided to get on it.”
Also, Frankfurt Coach Armin Veh has had success coaching Mexican internationals in Germany. When coaching at VfB Stuttgart, 2006 World Cup participants Ricardo Osorio and Pável Pardo were key contributors, featuring in a combined 60 league matches for Veh’s 2006/2007 Bundesliga champion squad after he had recruited them to VfB.
With Fußballgott Alex Meier looking in form at the end of the Hinrunde following his injury absence earlier this season, Frankfurt and Veh may have found a key player to push Die Adler higher after the winter break. Although rumored to have been a signing target of MLS teams this winter and La Liga clubs in the past, the inking of Fabián by Frankfurt may be exactly what is needed to build on their MatchDay 17 win over Werder Bremen and boost the club’s goal differential that only saw 21 goals scored in the Hinrunde against 28 allowed.
And it is a good time for Mexican players in Europe, as in addition to Chicharito’s unbelievable success at Leverkusen, Mexcian internationals Andrés Guardado and Héctor Moreno are regular starters at PSV Eindhoven, while Héctor Herrera, Jesús Corona and Miguel Layún are significant contributors at FC Porto. Hopefully the time is also right for Frankfurt’s new attacker.