Why Arsenal must go all out to sign Hector Herrera
After a wobbly start to their campaign, Unai Emery has steadied the ship at Arsenal by winning three games in a row in the Premier League. But these victories don’t hide the fact that Emery’s Arsenal are still a team in transition.
One of their main areas of concern should be the lack of steel in the middle of the park. Emery signed Lucas Torreira in the summer but one good player isn’t enough. A 19-year-old Matteo Guendouzi has also impressed but at such a young age, he can’t start every game.
Granit Xhaka might have scored a sensational free-kick last weekend but he hasn’t developed into an authoritative midfielder. In fact, he has been one of the weakest links in this Arsenal side, often being at fault for giving away the ball in dangerous positions time and again.
Hence, Emery needs midfielders who can strengthen the squad. A recent report from The Mirror has linked Hector Herrera with a move to the Emirates.
Herrera, a 28-year-old midfielder who plays for Porto, is into his final year of contract at Estadio Dragao. He is one of the first names on the team sheet for the Mexican national team, receiving his 70th cap during the World Cup in Russia.
Herrera has been Porto’s linchpin in the midfield for the past five years, helping the club win the Primeira Liga last year. In that title-winning campaign, the Mexican played 29 games in the league and scored 3 goals. But it was his hard work in the centre of the park that made him such an attractive commodity in the European market.
He completed 1331 passes with a pass accuracy of 85%. He has always been a great passer of the ball but in the past few seasons, he has grown into a destroyer as well, making some sneaky interceptions and quickly releasing the likes of Yacine Brahimi and Vincent Aboubakar on the counter. He assisted 4 goals last year and made 40 key passes in the league. He also completed 56 tackles, made 24 clearances and registered 47 interceptions.
He is the kind of player Arsenal are in dire need of. Considering his contract situation with Porto, Arsenal should try and get him for a cut-price deal in January.
If the deal goes through, it would benefit the likes of Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Aaron Ramsey the most. These creative players can sprinkle the stardust in the final third of the pitch without worrying about losing the ball.
Furthermore, pairing Torreira and Herrera at the base of the midfield could offer better protection to a shaky Arsenal defence.