Real Madrid are reportedly interested in Mario Hermoso and are pondering over a January move for the Espanyol centre-back in order to strengthen their defence.
There is a crisis brewing at Real Madrid. Julen Lopetegui has not managed to get the attack going while the limited options at the back are starting to cost the defending European champions crucial points both in Spain and Europe. The first step is a central defensive reinforcement in January, with Espanyol centre-back Mario Hermoso on their radar, according to Spanish publication Don Balon.
Real Madrid seem to have really dropped the ball in the summer transfer market. The decision to not strengthen the attack is already affecting their results while the lack of depth in defence is also rearing its ugly head, with injuries to key players at the back and Sergio Ramos not being his usual self so far this season.
Don Balon suggest Real Madrid might have found a solution in the form of Mario Hermoso. Born in Madrid, Hermoso is a product of the Real Madrid youth setup, having joined the club at the age of 10. The centre-back had a successful season on loan at Real Valladolid. But, unable to break into the first-team setup, Hermoso chose to join Espanyol on a permanent basis in the summer of 2017.
His debut season at Espanyol was a mild success, with Hermoso establishing himself as a regular. But, his start to the 2018-19 campaign has been something else. Hermoso has played a key role in three clean sheets so far this season. However, it is his attacking output that has caught everyone by surprise.
Hermoso rescued a point in the season-opener against Celta Vigo while also scoring the only goal and the winner against Eibar. The penchant of being the difference and coming to the rescue resembles a character similar to the Real Madrid leader and captain Sergio Ramos. Real are pondering whether to move for Hermoso in January.
While Real Madrid did let the 23-year-old leave on a permanent basis, they retain the right to repurchase the centre-back, much like Jesus Vallejo and Alvaro Morata. The Don Balon report states that the buyback clause stands at €15 million.
But, Real will have to be careful before exercising the option to repurchase Hermoso. The 23-year-old has found his home at Espanyol wherein he is now a key player. If Florentino Perez does decide to bring the defender back, the club president will have to make sure the player is assigned a first-team role and regular minutes.
Hermoso could be a solution and more for the defensive problems at Real Madrid. The 23-year-old has the ability to play on the left side of the defence as well and could also act as a cover for Marcelo, something that Real are currently missing. The lack of a potential alternative to Marcelo on the left has forced Julen Lopetegui to deploy Nacho during the Brazilian’s absence.
Barring his unwanted penchant of collecting yellow cards, Hermoso has proven himself to be a quality centre-back, one who also has La Liga experience under his belt now. This looks like a transfer that has a real chance of happening in January.