'I have got an invite' - City winger hoping to finally make his Cuba debut

Onel Hernandez of Norwich and Djed Spence of Middlesbrough in action during the Sky Bet Championship

Onel Hernandez has returned from injury for Norwich City in recent weeks - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City winger Onel Hernandez hopes he will finally be able to make his international debut for Cuba next month, ahead of two World Cup qualifiers.

The speedy wide man moved to Germany as a child and was capped once at under-18 level by the Germans. His form for City earned him a Cuba call-up in November 2018 but he ended up being left disappointed, with the football authorities of the Caribbean nation standing firm on not picking players who do not play in their homeland.

Hernandez has spoken on several occasions of his disappointment about that incident but has revealed he is hoping to be involved in upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Guatemala and Curacao - having become the first Cuban to play in the Premier League last season.

"I know that there are a lot of people working on it," he explained. "I had a message from the national team, from the people who are there and working on it, and they said for the next international break in March, Cuba has two games for the World Cup qualifications and I have got an invite.

"They also have other invites for other Cuban players who play in America and Costa Rica. I hope that this all goes through because Fifa is involved in the process as well. 

"If everything is fine with it then I could make my debut for the Cuban national team next month and it will be incredible.

"It will ba dream to play for my country and if this can happen then I don't need to talk about it any longer because it will be the best thing that has happened."

The 28-year-old had groin surgery in October and returned from a three-month absence in recent weeks, making five league appearances as a substitute in the Championship and starting the 1-0 loss at Barnsley in the FA Cup fourth round.

Hernandez was a key player as Daniel Farke led City to the Championship title in 2018-19, with eight goals and nine assists, and having been signed from Eintracht Braunschweig is now just five appearances short of reaching his century for the Canaries.

"It is always difficult when you come back from an injury because you are not in the rhythm straight away," he continued, speaking to City's OTBC matchday programme.

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"I have been out for three months and I feel good but I think there are some other players who have a better rhythm at the moment and that is why they are playing in front of me.

"That doesn't matter though because we still have a lot of games and we are one big team. We have a lot of good players in the squad and everyone is training every day to get better, to get fitter and to come back into their rhythm.

"With me, it is exactly the same. I am 100 per cent ready if I get a chance to be there to help my team but we have an amazing squad."

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