Theo Hernández: Pedigree

It’s not unheard of for a player to have other family members who play or have played football, but it’s also not that common. However, one of our new signings has the unusual distinction of not only being a second generation footballer, but also having a sibling who currently plays. Not only that, but all three of them are defenders. Additionally, he comes to us from the only club to have won more Champions League titles than Milan. That is quite the football pedigree.

Here to win

Theo Bernard François Hernández was born in Marseille, France, but grew up in Spain. The son of former center back Jean-François Hernández, he developed in Atletico Madrid’s youth system beginning at age nine. His older brother, Lucas, who is two years older than Theo, also developed in Atleti’s youth system, the team his father once played for. Lucas was promoted to the first team and joined Bayern Munich this summer, and generally plays center back, but can also play left back. He also featured for France’s youth teams and now has 15 caps for the senior team and a World Cup Winner's medal. That is a strong family history of football and a lot of massive defensive skills.

Theo's father greets older brother Lucas at a France match

While Theo never featured for Atletico’s first team, he spent the last two years on the books of their rivals, Real Madrid. Not a bad team to play for at the age of 20 years old. As a part of that team, in 2018, he won the Champions League for Real Madrid. After 13 appearances, including three in the Champions League, Real Madrid loaned him to Real Sociedad this past season. He is the youngest defender to have 50 caps in La Liga.

Most people would think a young player would want to stay at a club like Real Madrid, but it was clear that he wouldn’t get as much playing time as he would need to continue developing. That is where Milan came in. Milan are a club not that dissimilar to Real Madrid in history, but currently young and developing like Hernández. And with a chance to earn more playing time, it was not so hard to see why he would move to Milan. Milan rewarded his faith with a €20m transfer fee and a five year contract.

Been there, done that

Hernández has made his mark in the left back role. He is particularly known for his speed and dribbling skills, often referred to as “lightning fast.” He is also capable of accurate crosses and is overall a very attacking player. By his own admission, he is not as strong defensively, but that is not uncommon, especially for someone so young. I suppose the best endorsement is that he was recruited by Maldini, one of the greatest left backs ever to play. That should tell you all you need to know.

Theo with some other French guy called Bennacer playing for France's youth sides

No one ever knows how transfers are going to work out, especially young players, and Hernández is no exception. But Milan are putting their faith in him and spending what is a relatively significant sum on him under our current FFP and rebuilding restrictions. They are obviously looking to the future and see in him a player that will help the team significantly. And perhaps it’s not just his impressive speed and skills. Perhaps it is the fact that he has developed in quality clubs and has an impressive resumé for such a young age. Or that his father was a professional footballer as well. Or that he also has a very talented older brother who plays. Because the only thing better than being an exciting young player is to be an exciting young player with pedigree.

This post inspired by the music of Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family”

Our next match is a friendly
Bayern Munich vs. AC Milan
Tuesday, July 23 • 8pm CDT (9pm EDT)
Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City

Theo Hernández: Pedigree Theo Hernández: Pedigree Reviewed by Elaine on 6:36 AM Rating: 5
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