Mario Hermoso had disappeared from Simeone’s plans, but he is back. The defender started against Granada and, according to this week’s rehearsals, he will also be in Bilbao. The footballer will be able to vindicate himself again after a stretch in which he saw himself no place before Reinildo, Lodi and even Felipe, that have been closing the doors successively.
Before the 0-0 against Granada, Hermoso had barely played 10 minutes in the last two months. Since he scored the winning goal against Getafe (February 12), the defender has only had 9 minutes against Osasuna, 1 in Vallecas, in eight games he stayed on the bench (including the four in the Champions League) and missed two due to injury and another due to coronavirus. Hermoso went from being a regular to the background.
The reasons are varied. The most important is the arrival of Reinildo, who from very early on settled in the defense, right in the place where Hermoso played, as a left center. and Lody, who was also behind the former Espanyol player, also found his place in these two months, forming a partnership with the Mozambican that left Hermoso with no margin. And in the central position, Savic and Giménez are fixed, but when someone has been missing Simeone has pulled Felipe.
Giménez, Hermoso and Reinildo against Athletic
Against Granada, Hermoso rested Reinildo and, for the visit to Athletic, he will settle in the center of the defense. Flanked by Giménez and Reinildo. Mario will have to show the most solid version of him against an Athletic team that at times overturns the area and besieges it with lateral crosses, an aspect where the rojiblancos have suffered in recent years and that Simeone wanted to work on this week.
The coach knows well what Hermoso gives him on the field, since he was a fundamental piece in the conquest of the last League and in the stretches of good football that the team played. Also, the center is the best in aerial defensive duels, according to AI data collected by Olocip, as well as second most prominent in interceptions and game changes. In this way, Bilbao will examine Hermoso again, whose role has changed significantly and, given that, suitors are already beginning to arrive.