Atlético Madrid completed a $32.5 million transfer for Espanyol center-back Mario Hermoso on Thursday, wrapping up a week in which the team made two big transfers to bolster its defense.
Hermoso joins Kieran Trippier, who joined Atlético from Tottenham earlier in the week, as the new kids on the block in coach Diego Simeone’s defense.
Atlético has secured the Spanish international for the next five seasons. Curiously, a portion of the transfer fee paid for Hermoso will go to the pockets of the Colchoneros’ cross-town rivals, Real Madrid. Hermoso was a youth product from Los Blancos’ academy.
The 23-year-old is considered as being one of the top young defenders in Europe. His steadiness and defensive skill was a large reason why Espanyol was able to qualify for this season’s Europa League for the first time in nearly two decades. The left-footed defender is hailed for his technical abilities as well as his physical gifts and strength.
Now, Hermoso will have the ability to play for one of soccer’s brightest defensive minds, where he will look to impress and become a key part of Atleti’s backline.