The late January signing that could end Mings’ Aston Villa career

Kosta Nedeljkovic has already been purchased this month by Aston Villa, but the defensive rebuild won’t stop with the Serbian.

Unai Emery has had to shuffle his defence around at times this season due to injuries and individuals not performing to his standards.

With that in mind, the Spaniard is reportedly keen to bring a new centre back to Villa Park.

According to reports from Spain last week, Aston Villa are interested in signing Mario Hermoso from Atletico Madrid.


The Spaniard is keen to move away from his current club in order to seek a new challenge, and he is set to become a free agent in the summer.

Emery will look to secure the signing of Hermoso this month, and a move is likely to occur.


January transfer window: All the confirmed deals from England and Scotland

Stay on top of all the latest transfer deals across the EFL and SPFL as we head towards the final week of the January window.

How Mario Hermoso would fit in the Villa team

Tyrone Mings has been out of action since the first game of the season after suffering an injury that ruled him out for the season. However, prior to that, the 30-year-old was Villa’s captain and a rock at the heart of the defence.

But, the potential signing of a left-footed centre-back indicates that Mings’ future as a Villa player could be in doubt, with Pau Torres also providing competition to the Englishman, and therefore the arrival of Hermoso would send him further down the pecking order.


The Atletico Madrid defender has been immense this season for his side, starting 17 matches as the left centre-back in a 3-5-2. Yet how would Hermoso fit into the Villa team if he were to join in the summer? And what is his style of play?

Hermoso’s 2023/24 La Liga Stats

Stats (per 90)


Ranking in Europe

Passes completed


Top 15%

Progressive passes


Top 7%

Passes into the final third


Top 9%



Top 15%

Dribblers challenged


Top 23%

Ball recoveries


Top 6%

Stats via FBref

According to football reporter Zach Lowy, Hermoso is “very good on the ball,” and that is the main attribute that separates the former Espanyol man from Mings, who dismally happened to rank in the bottom 49% of Premier League centre-backs for passes attempted last season according to FBref.

The 28-year-old Spaniard ranks extremely highly for passes completed, progressive passes, and passes into the final third, with the latter two highlighting that he’s not only comfortable on the ball, but he is brave in possession as well.

Hermoso is also a proactive defender who recovers balls well and isn’t afraid to challenge opposition attackers, using his athleticism and power to put a stop to the opponent’s attack. However, Emery could have the perfect role for the La Liga player, which would see him flourish in England.


The Spaniard has already shown glimpses of a new system emerging in possession, with Ezri Konsa becoming a third centre-back and Alex Moreno pushing on as a high left wing-back. The arrival of Hermoso could see the same tactic used, but on the opposite flank, with Hermoso tucking in and a new right-back bombing forward.

Thus, the signing of Hermoso, particularly if it was to happen on a free, would be an excellent shrewd piece of business.

Leave a Comment