With a potential move to Atletico Madrid still not finalizied, Hector Herrera declined a call-up to El Tri. Could he be a success at Arsenal?
Midfielder Hector Herrera has become one of the best players in Portugal during his six years at FC Porto (alongside compatriot Jesus “Tecatito” Corona). Having risen to become the club’s official captain, Porto and Herrera had a fairly decent run in the Champions League this season reaching the quarterfinals where they were bounced out by Liverpool. Herrera missed the first leg (a 2-0 loss) due to suspension, but it is clear that he is one of the first names on the team sheet each week.
It has been clear for some time now that Herrera is looking for new challenges, as he decided not to renew his contract with Porto, meaning he can leave on a free transfer this summer.
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His decision to move elsewhere is part of the reason he declined the chance to join the Mexican national team for the Gold Cup. He wants to take the summer off so he can recover physically and concentrate on his new club.
Which club that will be is the all-important question. Reports have suggested his new club will be Spanish La Liga outfit Atletico Madrid. Such a move, if it materializes, would be huge, not just for Herrera, but for all of Mexican football because of the sheer size of Atletico.
However until it is finalized, he could theoretically move elsewhere. One club I think he would excel in is Arsenal in the English Premier League. While admittedly not as big a club at the moment as Atletico, Arsenal still have one foot in next year’s Champions League (if they win the Europa League final against Chelsea at the end of the month).
Arsenal just released their own star midfielder, Aaron Ramsey, on a free transfer. Ramsey is already in Turin for his official presentation with his new club, Italian giants Juventus.
I believe this gaping Aaron Ramsey-sized hole in Arsenal’s midfield could be filled admirably by Herrera.
Both are of a similar age and have similar styles of play, favoring attacking play over defending, but I believe Herrera to be slightly better in defensive play.
Arsenal’s summer transfer budget is rumored to be a piddling 40 million pounds, which means getting Herrera for free could be tempting.
Herrera also has recent Champions League experience which would be invaluable if Arsenal either return to the competition or remain in the Europa League. No doubt, he will be a starter for Arsenal in most games.
Many El Tri fans would probably prefer Hector Herrera join Atletico Madrid over Arsenal, and to be honest that is the more high-profile option. However Hector Herrera, if he did join Arsenal, would virtually be guaranteed a starting spot, he’d be a leader on the field (something that Arsenal lacks at the moment), and his attacking flair could help ease the loss of Aaron Ramsey.
Whichever club he joins, Herrera is and will remain Mexico’s best current midfielder and deserves every success he will have with his new club.