Atletico Madrid’s summer spending spree continued on Thursday following the €29m arrival of Mario Hermoso from RCD Espanyol.
Hermoso’s impressive form for Espanyol last season captured the interest of Atletico, who were in need of defensive reinforcements after the departures of Diego Godin and Lucas Hernandez.
Los Colchoneros had already signed FC Porto centre-back Felipe for €20m earlier this summer. However, Hermoso’s versatility offers manager Diego Simeone cover for Lucas’ vacant left-back spot.
Although Atletico faced stiff competition for the 24-year-old from city rivals Real Madrid, who had an option to re-sign their old player for just €7.5m, and French champions Paris Saint-Germain.
However, the three-time Spain international has signed up on a five-year deal to play his football at the Wanda Metropolitano.
“I wanted this since the chance to come here arose,” said Hermoso on the club’s website.
“It’s a unique opportunity for me to grow and return to my city. I’m delighted and can’t wait to start.”
Despite graduating Real’s youth system, Hermoso never made an appearance for the first-team before joining Espanyol in 2017.
When asked about his past with Atletico’s big rivals, the Spaniard replied: “It was an important challenge, one cannot erase his past. I want to improve the future and I come with this illusion, respect is earned on the field.”
Meanwhile, Atletico president Enrique Cerezo added: “Mario Hermoso plays as a centre-back but can also be deployed as a left-back.
“His wonderful qualities have earned him his debut in the Spain national team. We add a great player to our world-class defence.”
Hermoso becomes Atletico’s ninth signing of the summer transfer window and just 24 hours after Kieran Trippier’s €22m arrival from Tottenham. The club will pay Espanyol €25m plus another €4m in add-ons.
Joao Felix, Marcos Llorente, Renan Lodi, Felipe, Ivan Saponjic, Hector Herrera and Nicolas Ibañez have all arrived in Madrid.
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) July 18, 2019