According to Marca, Mario Hermoso has rejected Espanyol’s latest contract offer. And now Metro believes that Arsenal are in the running to sign the Spanish defender, who has enjoyed an impressive spell at the club. It has been reported that Espanyol will be keen to cash in on Hermoso this summer rather than seeing him leave for free when his contract expires at the end of next season.
The report claims that Hermoso has a release clause of €40 million, but Espanyol don’t expect that value to be met, meaning the defender could be available for a cut-price this summer.
Hermoso’s success after leaving Real Madrid
A product of the Real Madrid youth academy, Hermoso made a move from RM Castilla to join RCD Espanyol on a free transfer (according to Transfermarkt) in the summer of 2017. Since then, the 24-year-old has become a regular for Espanyol, making 59 appearances for the Catalan outfit.
Hermoso was an ever-present figure in the Espanyol backline in the recently concluded campaign, featuring in 32 league games, during which he scored three goals. He built a formidable defensive partnership alongside David Lopez and later Naldo, helping the Periquitos finish seventh in the league table.
The Espanyol defender deservedly earned a call-up to the Spanish national side during November of last year, and he has since become a guaranteed pick in Luis Enrique’s setup.
What can Hermoso bring to the table?
Hermoso is predominantly a ball-playing defender, who can launch counter-attacks with his cross-field passes. The 24-year-old is blessed with an immense vision that makes him an invaluable cog in any defence. It means the Spaniard is often on the lookout for runs in behind the defence from his attacking teammates, allowing him to thread in long balls.
Hermoso can stay deep and provide cover, with the defender notably averaging 5.4 clearances per game this past season. He is also a smart operator, who doesn’t commit into tackles and instead waits for the right moment to make a defensive action against the opposition ball carrier.
Should Arsenal make a move for Hermoso
Arsenal should continue their pursuit of signing Hermoso as they attempt to shore up their defence this summer. The Spaniard has the quality to enhance Arsenal’s build-up play, and the 24-year-old is sure to thrive alongside the more robust figure of Sokratis.
While Hermoso will facilitate the backline with his laser passes and accurate long-balls, Sokratis’ aggressive and no-nonsense nature of defending will add another dimension to the Arsenal defence. Hence, the Espanyol defender is certainly a viable target for the Gunners this summer.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored
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