Belgium manager Martinez hails 'born goal-scorer' Hernandez

The former Everton boss admitted he was interested in signing the Mexico international during his time managing the Toffees

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has hailed Mexico striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez as a "born goal-scorer."

El Tri take on Belgium in a friendly at Heysel Stadium in Brussels on Friday, and the former Everton boss knows that the West Ham striker will pose his side a major threat. 

"I think the great quality of Javier Hernandez is that he's exceptional in the penalty area," Martinez told ESPN FC. "In the box is one of the zones in which there is least difference between distinct leagues.

"Javier Hernandez is a born goal-scorer who always plays off the last defender and has that quality finishing that is affected a lot less by the characteristics of one or another league.

"But everything goes hand in hand with the mentality. I think he is a pure winner and is a player who always finds a way to be successful in whichever team he plays."

Martinez admits that the Mexican striker was a player he was keen to sign during his stint as Everton manager between 2013 and 2016. 

"Yes, we've always followed him very closely because he's a player that surprised us a lot with the way he adapted at Manchester United and the way he finishes moves," Martinez said. 

"He's a player with so much intelligence with his movement. It was never possible [to sign him], but yes he's been one of the players that we've followed closely."

Hernandez has scored four goals in 11 Premier League appearances with West Ham this season after he made an off-season move from Bayer Leverkusen.