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The redemption of Calero, the powerhouse that follows in the footsteps of Hermoso

BarcelonaThe last month and a half of the league has served Fernando Calero to show that he can become the central of guarantees that was expected to be in the summer of 2019. Sergi Gómez was the great victim of the handle received at La Ceràmica at the end of February, the eleventh consecutive game in the league conceding a goal. After that duel, Vicente Moreno decided to bet on Calero, with whom Espanyol has only conceded two goals in the last five games. The Valladolid center-back will start again this Sunday (4:15 pm, M. LaLiga) against Atlético de Madrid by Mario Hermoso, a center-back who is following in his footsteps despite wanting to stand out. “I don’t like to compare myself to anyone, I come to play my football,” he said on the day of his presentation. At the Wanda Metropolitano you will have a new opportunity to prove your fitness.

Calero landed at Espanyol in exchange for 8 million euros. The then most expensive center in the history of the white-and-blue club (later surpassed by Cabrera, with 9 million) came to replace what they had sold for a higher price, Hermoso (25 million). In the sports area of ​​the Spanish club they saw in the young promise of Valladolid a profile similar to that of Hermoso. Both are Spanish, born in the same year (1995), are almost as tall (1.83 m Calero and 1.84 m Hermoso) and stand out for their good foot when it comes to getting the ball played and for the its capacity for anticipation.

Both have taken similar paths. They went through Valladolid and, when they arrived at Espanyol, they started as starters before going through two stages of punishment. Two games in the field of Leganés (3-2 and 2-0) were the trigger that led Quique Sánchez Flores first and Abelardo later to decide to send both central to the bench or the stands. Hermoso was left out of the team, by technical decision, in 12 of the last 17 days of that League. Calero only played three games, as a substitute, from day 19 of his first year as a Spaniard. It was not easy for either of them to overcome those months of punishment, but they managed to recover and gain maturity.

Calero approaches the Madrilenian

ARA has analyzed both the first seasons of both at Espanyol (2019-20 for Calero and 2017-18 in the case of Hermoso) and their performance this year. The two central defenders have followed opposite dynamics in terms of the level of success in the past: Calero, now more daring and vertical than before, has gone from 85.7% of his first year to 81.2% of the current season. Hermoso, on the other hand, has taken the opposite path in an Atlético where they do not need their long journeys as much as in Espanyol, and has gone from 74.5% to 87.1%. Comparing his first seasons at Espanyol, the Madrid man significantly improved Calero in aspects such as air duels won (2.4 by 0.9), interceptions (1.2 by 0.5), rejections (5.4 for 2.8), shots on goal (0.5 for 0) and long passes per game (6 for 2.1).

In the matches played over the last month and a half, Calero has managed to improve his records and shorten distances with the current Hermoso de Atlético. The Madrid man continues to improve in aspects such as goal shots (0.6 by 0.1), long passes (3.5 by 1.8) or aerial duels (1.6 by 1.3), but the center is worth · Lysoletan already surpasses it in terms of rejections per game (4.4 by 1.6) or the times they have haggled over it (0.1 by 0.7). One of the most important changes that Calero has experienced with respect to his first year at Espanyol is the change of profile, from left to right. “I prefer to play right center because it’s my natural leg and I can filter more balls. It is more comfortable for anyone to be able to act in their natural profile “, he recently explained on the Llobregat Blanc-i-Blau radio program, where he also admitted that he still has” quite a bit of room for improvement “.

The statistics place Calero as the least haggled center of the squad this season (0.1 times per game, 0.3 for Cabrera and 0.4 for Sergi Gómez) and the second in terms of rejected balls (4.4 , between 3.8 in Catalan and 5.8 in Uruguayan). It is the third, of course, in terms of interceptions (1, 1.2 for Cabrera and 1.4 for Sergi Gómez). Having recovered Calero is great news for the club, which is starting to take advantage of the sport from an asset that needs to be profitable, and also for Vicente Moreno, who sees how the increase in competition between the centers he has is transformed into greater defensive solvency.

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