Why Arsenal should have signed Mario Hermoso when they had the chance
Arsenal’s biggest area of weakness has been in central defence. Despite signing David Luiz, nothing seems to have changed for them defensively as they continue to ship goals.
Luiz was brought in mostly as a personality and for his ability to initiate attacks. The Brazilian has been suspect in his short stint already in a couple of games and the Gunners might regret that decision very soon.
Currently, the only reliable centre-back at the club is Sokratis Papastathopoulos and there’s no certainty that Rob Holding will be able to carry this backline as it’s difficult to predict how one will perform after suffering an injury like that.
He had a fantastic campaign for Espanyol and was even called up to the Spanish national team after his performances in recent times. He’s currently with the national squad after having completed a move to Atletico Madrid in the summer transfer window.
Hermoso is a typical Spanish defender, who bases his game around other Spanish legends like Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos. He’s very good with his passing and is technically good enough to play for Arsenal. He also has the aggression required for the Premier League.
He isn’t the biggest at 1.84 m for a defender but he’s still fairly good in the air and also carries a goal threat, having scored three for the Barcelona-based side after making 32 appearances in the La Liga
All of the above suggests that he would have no problem settling into Unai Emery’s system, which requires a player to be technically good on the ball with just the right amount of aggression to not get bullied by opposing centre-forwards.
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Their attacking options have been strengthened but after Manchester City and Liverpool, the Gunners were the next-best outfit when it came to scoring goals last season.
Arsenal should’ve tried harder to sign a centre-back and with Hermoso available, it would’ve been a real intent that they were changing for the better this season.