If Watford new boy Juan Camilo Hernandez can keep his feet on the ground he could prove a success at the top level in Europe, according to a Colombian football expert.

British journalist Carl Worswick is stationed in Bogota, the Colombian capital, and feels the 18-year-old is "one of the most exciting talents" to emerge from the country in recent years.

Worswick has followed Hernandez's career since he first broke through at Deportivo Pereira two years ago - and tipped him as one of the 60 greatest youth talents in world football.

By then, he had witnessed a then 17-year-old Hernandez receiving the captain's armband for his hometown side, despite his young age.

That year, he finished as the second division's top scorer with 21 goals, and while Pereira just missed out on promotion to the top flight, the youngster's promise did not go unnoticed.

His performances earned him a deal which would take him to then La Liga side Granada, although a loan move back to Colombia followed and Hernandez found himself back in his home country almost as soon as he had left. He joined top-flight America de Cali - one of Colombia's traditional "big three".

"Because of the South American U20s Championship which started in January this year, he missed pre-season training with America and only returned to Colombia a few weeks into the season," Worswick explained.

"Colombia were really poor at the U20s and the manager was sacked straight after they were eliminated, but Hernandez probably stood out as their best player."

Having been absent for so much of America's preparations, coming back into a team shocked to find itself fighting relegation made it difficult for Hernandez to make a breakthrough, and only in the latter part of the season was he able to make any real impression.

"He finished the campaign with a couple of man-of-the-match performances," added Worwick. "America actually wanted to keep him until December but, having now turned 18, was now eligible to play in Europe."

With a work permit an impossibility due to his young age and lack of international experience, Hernandez's move to Watford - the exact date of which is still unclear - is likely to be more in spirit than body for some time, and he will spend the next year in the Spanish second division with Huesca.

But when the attacking midfielder does qualify to play on these shores, he might be one South American to make the breakthrough at Vicarage Road.

"From my experiences of watching Colombian football for the past six years, I believe he's one of the most exciting talents to come through," Worwick said. "However, most coaches tell me the same thing - Colombians have a lot of talent, but the problem often lies in their heads.

"That said, from my limited dealings with Hernandez, I have found him to be a pretty down-to-earth kid who is still developing in the right direction.

"The Spanish second tier seems like a perfect stepping stone, both in terms of football and the cultural transition."