Saturday, December 3, 2022

Real Madrid Wants To Re-Sign This French Ace: Is Zidane Making The Right Call Trying To Bring Him Back?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by Le10Sport, Real Madrid are eager to re-sign AC Milan left-back Theo Hernandez this summer just a year after he sealed a move to the San Siro in search of greener pastures. However, the same source has also claimed that Los Blancos will face competition from Paris-Saint Germain in pursuit of the French defender when the transfer window reopens later this year.

Hernandez’s Eye-Catching Spell At The San Siro

The Atletico Madrid youth product has enjoyed a productive season in the Serie A after performing at a high level on the left side of Stefano Pioli’s defence. He has registered six goals and three assists in 25 matches for the Milan outfit this term on all fronts which highlight how much he has matured as a full-back over the past nine months.

Hernandez has averaged 1.7 tackles, 1.2 interceptions, 1.5 clearances, 1.5 shots, 1.2 key passes and 2.0 dribbles in every 90 minutes of league football this season (stats via whoscored). His impressive numbers show just how essential he has been for Pioli’s side at both ends of the pitch.

The Marseille-born talent has also represented France at various youth levels but is still waiting to get his first senior call-up from Didier Deschamps. Maybe a return to the Spanish capital this summer could give him the ideal platform to showcase his growth and earn a place in the Les Bleus squad for next year’s UEFA European Champions finals after the tournament got postponed because of the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

Federico Chiesa of ACF Fiorentina in action against Theo Hernandez during the Serie A match between ACF Fiorentina and AC Milan at Stadio Artemio Franchi on February 22, 2020, in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

What Does The French Prospect Offer On The Field?

Hernandez is one of the quickest full-backs in European football and can use his blistering pace and acceleration to get to the by-line down the left-wing. He loves to dribble with the ball and is not afraid to take on the opposition full-back by making late runs in behind their last line of defence. The Frenchman has also transformed himself into a capable defender at the back as he can make some vital interceptions and last-ditch clearances for his team. The 22-year-old is also not shy of putting his body on the line when attempting to block a goal-bound attempt from the opposition.

Hernandez boasts a pass completion rate of 82.8% in the Serie A this season which means that he will be a suitable ball-playing defender for the La Liga giants (stats via whoscored). He will also increase competition for places within the Madrid squad if Zinedine Zidane can find a way to seal a return for him before the start of the new season.

Is Zidane Making The Correct Call By Attempting To Bring Hernandez Back To The Bernabeu?

The Spanish outfit has currently got Marcelo and Ferland Mendy fighting of a left-back berth in their first-team. Zidane has also used Nacho Fernandez in that position as a makeshift option to cope with injuries and suspensions. However, neither of those players have found consistency in terms of their performances down the left flank. Hence, bringing Hernandez back to the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium could prove to be a sensible option for Los Blancos to pursue during the summer transfer period.

The French defender will not only add more goals and creativity to the Madrid attack but also serve as a solid defensive option for them in the years to come. Plus, Marcelo is edging closer towards the end of his playing career so Hernandez could turn out to be a perfect long-term replacement for the experienced Brazilian in the long-run.

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