Milan is on the cusp of becoming Serie A champions again. A lot has changed since they were last at the top in 2011. Stefano Pioli has worked wonders since his appointment in 2019. The team is young, balanced and hungry for more. Theo Hernandez has been one of the shining lights throughout the season.
Theo Hernandez goal against Atalanta yesterday. It can prove to be creative.pic.twitter.com/i0dwpovR7P
– Get Italian football news (_GIFN) May 16 2022
The back of the electrified left wing was the main gear in the system. Hernandez sure had his critics throughout his young career. The France international was once sent on loan to Alaves.
Milan’s current facade is a far cry from those nights, especially because Alaves just went down. So how did Hernandez end up at Milan, where he evolved into one of the best players in the world in his position?
Theo Hernandez has been an attacking giant since joining Milan. It was sporting director Paolo Maldini who had the decisive hand in the negotiations. Hernandez was at Real Sociedad when he met Maldini in Ibiza. The former Milan defender lobbied for his signature and it was eventually completed in 2019. Since then, Hernandez has scored 18 goals and 13 assists in the league over the course of three seasons.
🔴⚫ Only Rafael Liao (17) and Olivier Giroud (12) have played more goals in Serie A for Milan than Theo Hernandez (11) this season.
🥵 Nothing is more important than last night’s amazing match against Atalanta pic.twitter.com/KJRcRKIfnE
– WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) May 16 2022
The rapid change in Hernandez’s speed and ability to carry the ball sets him apart. He averaged 6.56 forward moves per 90 with 1.63 dribbling completed per 90. So, it’s clear that Milan want to quickly direct their attacks through him.
Pioli trusts Hernandez to capture the ball and drive into the opponent. The team relies on big keys to play. Hernandez is more likely to attack than right back (usually David Calabria).
Theo Hernandez match in numbers against Atalanta:
100% winning interventions (5/5)
Air duels won by 100%.
Total 75 touches
6 recover the ball
3 dodge attempts
2 successful dribbles
1 goal scored
A goal to remember. 🤯🤯🤯 pic.twitter.com/N0LDCfggHx
– StatmanDave May 16 2022
That is why the Rossoneri consider him one of the first names on the team sheet. Truth be told, they don’t even have a good alternative. Theo Hernandez has truly made Milan his home, and 2021-22 was just another step in his rapidly rising career.
Live wire on the left
Theo Hernandez’s offensive development helped catapult Milan to the top. He can score reckless goals, hit the ball from long range, and provide killer cross passes. However, what was also astonishing to watch was how his relationship with Rafael Liao blossomed. The couple is considered one of the most dangerous combinations in Europe. The most amazing part about all of this is that no one really expected this development to come.
Theo Hernandez stats over time for AC Milan:
✅ 79 games
One of the best attackers among the defenders. 🔴⚫️ pic.twitter.com/cEAsHWrQaT
Football talent scout – Jacek College (FTalentScout) May 12, 2021
Hernandez has been a means of dropping down the standings at both Atletico and Real Madrid. A strong season with Sociedad in 2018-2019 was the key to turning things around. Hernandez seamlessly entered the four-man defense line.
Furthermore, he also scored 2.77 forward passes he received and was involved in 84 shot creations. 15 of those are developed into goal creation procedures.
4️⃣ Pass the pieces 🎯
1 ️⃣ but ⚽️
🔥 Tweet embed # VersdetriPlus pic.twitter.com/p4qsLCoKAA
– Equipe de France (equipedefrance) March 26, 2022
Hernandez maintains a pass completion rate of around 80%. Pioli wants Hernandez to focus on the offensive aspects as the defense has a double pivot to check them out. Moreover, Fikayo Tomori is very versatile and can cover Hernandez. This is why there isn’t much workload in tracking down Hernandez if the attack goes down.
Regular for club and country
Theo Hernandez blast at the top level saw a break-in Why Bleus a team. He unites with his brother Lucas in the defense line. Hernandez had to wait a long time for this to become a reality. Milan without a real star, except for the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
What a great autograph, Theo Hernandez. Paolo Maldini wanted him at any cost three years ago, after a meeting with Theo himself in Ibiza… and he invested 20 million euros to sign for Milan. 🔴🇫🇷 #AC Milan
Theo recently extended his contract until June 2026, he just wants to stay.
– Fabrizio Romano May 15 2022
This is why Hernandez settled more gently. He was not highlighted as much as the previous clubs. There is not much competition, which was not the case at Real Madrid.
Along with Liao, Tomori, Frank Casey and others, Hernandez has been a great signing. Maldini deserves the most credit for bringing in Hernandez and creating a team around him that excels at all guns.