Luca Hernandez, 27, once the world’s second-most expensive defender behind Fergie Pandyk, has left Bayern Munich to join Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).
It will be interesting to see if the young center back, who is in his mid-20s, can rebuild his career in his home country after an erratic start to his career that has been marked by poor durability.
“PSG has signed Hernandez to a contract until 2028, with the number 21 on his back,” the club announced on its website on Tuesday (ET).
A former Atletico Madrid (Spain) youth product, Hernandez has been a solid performer since breaking into the first team in 2013. He steadily increased his playing time and by 2017-18, his sixth season as a professional, he had established himself as a regular starter, making 44 appearances in all competitions.
He helped Atletico win the UEFA Europa League (UEL) that year and became a center back on the radar of big clubs like Munich and Manchester City (England).
The national anthems were flying. At the 2018 World Cup in Russia, he was part of the French team that lifted the trophy.
He impressed with all the defensive skills that modern soccer demands: tough man-to-man defense, aerial battles, a dazzling drive that reaches speeds of up to 35 kilometers per hour, and a pass completion rate of nearly 90 percent. His versatility as a left-back and center-back was a bonus.
Based on his performance at the World Cup, Hernandez signed a five-year contract with German Bundesliga giants Munich in March 2019 for a transfer fee of €80 million (approximately KRW 102.6 billion at the time). At the time, it was the highest transfer fee in Bundesliga history and the second highest transfer fee ever for a defender, behind only Pandijk (€84.5 million).
Hernandez spent four seasons with Munich, making 107 official appearances. During this time, he helped the team reach the top of the Bundesliga four times.
However, due to frequent injuries, he hasn’t been able to contribute enough to justify his transfer fee. Last season, he made just seven league appearances.
Only once in his career has he played more than 20 league games, in 2021-22. 안전놀이터
Ultimately, Munich decided to sell Hernandez this summer for a transfer fee that was nearly 40% lower than it was four years ago. According to Fabrizio Romano, who follows the European soccer transfer market, PSG paid Munich €50 million for the player.
Still only twenty-seven years old and showing no signs of aging, domestic fans are eager to see if Hernandez can turn his career around at the French Ligue 1 club, where he will link up with Lee Kang-in, 22, who joined Paris Saint-Germain this summer.