Although there is a long list of young and talented Mexican players that many can name, there is something different about the 23-year-old midfielder. Unlike other budding stars, Gutierrez has a remarkable amount of reliability, leadership and maturity for a player of his age; it moves with the ease and confidence of an experienced veteran. With such characteristics, it was no surprise on Wednesday when PSV Eindhoven announced that the club was ready to sign Pachuca’s captain.
In any case, many within the Mexican football community wondered why it had taken so long.
Since making his league debut in October 2013, Gutiérrez has quickly established himself as one of the most intriguing prospects in Liga MX. Blessed with a well-balanced playing style and an eye for precise distribution, a move to Europe seemed imminent. And yet, once the start of the 2018 Apertura went around, Gutiérrez found himself still wearing a Pachuca shirt.
Granted, he had a key role as a young captain, but it remained clear in recent weeks that the player had already passed the league. Perhaps inspired to showcase his skills before the end of the transfer window, Gutierrez took a step forward with some of his best performances for Los Tuzos in his last three Liga MX games. Not only did he find the back of the net twice in this race, but he also found a return to the Mexican national team when the last call of the roster was announced on Wednesday.
Shortly after El Tri’s announcement, the news about PSV arrived, delivered by his close friend and former Pachuca’s colleague Hirving Lozano. Immediately after qualifying for the UEFA Champions League group stage, and therefore given more space to spend some money, the Dutch club quickly made the move to incorporate another Mexican into their roster.
Although it is tempting now to think about how Lozano can help Gutiérrez’s career abroad, it may be more appropriate to change these roles when looking at his past.
In his early days in Pachuca, Gutierrez was known for defending Lozano when the player argued with his teammates and staff. Eventually, the two developed a strong friendship since each one found a place within the upper Pachuca squadron. While Lozano was more a free end for Los Tuzos, Gutierrez was more a quiet presence in midfield that regularly provided smart passes in the future.
Considering that Lozano has already had a brilliant start to his season with PSV, it is tempting to think how effective the winger will be with Gutierrez as support. The newcomer may take some time to adjust, but the former Pachuca captain is expected to find a key role in the heart of the XI head of his new club.
Fortunately for the midfielder, the jump from Liga MX to the Eredivisie is manageable, instead of trying to find a place within a great European team in England or Spain. Gutiérrez should not have too many problems with his transition to PSV. Assuming he maintains his form, it would not be very surprising if the player soon gets the same kind of reverence that Lozano has accumulated abroad.
With the Eredivisie games aside, Gutiérrez (and Lozano) will also have a daunting but tempting opportunity once the Champions League group stage starts in mid-September. After the draw on Thursday, the two Mexicans will be forced to face the gigantic task of facing the European giants Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur and Inter Milan in Group B. A real test of fire for the budding talents of Pachuca . In the biggest stadium of club football, the opportunity to make a name will be invaluable to the two players who are a vital part of the future of the Mexican team.
As for Gutiérrez, the mature and balanced midfielder will finally have his long-awaited opportunity to shine in Europe. Whether in a high-level clash of the Champions League or an Eredivisie game over the weekend, you must prove to be a fascinating talent to follow.