Villareal midfielder Rodrigo Hernandez is set for a return to boyhood club Atletico Madrid where he played for six years between 2007 to 2013.
The midfielder nicknamed ‘Rodri’ subsequently left Atletico, aged 17 where he forced himself into the first team reckoning after rising through the Villareal’s B team. The now 21 year-old, having racked up 42 appearances for the ‘Yellow Submarine’ in the process.
Rodri has developed into a vital cog in the Villareal machine with 20 appearances this season, despite his tender age. As a result, his performances have garnered the interest of his former employers who have agreed a deal in principle to sign the Spaniard in the summer of 2018.
Following Tiago’s retirement and Gabi in the twilight of his career, Atletico see Rodri as a welcome addition to a midfield light in numbers. Rodri leads the La Liga charts for interceptions and is in the top ten for passes bring plenty of comparisons to Barcelona’s midfield maestro Sergio Busquets.
Coincidentally, Los Rojiblancos fought off competition from Barcelona in securing Rodri’s. The Catalan side viewing Rodri as the perfect successor to Busquets in screening the back four. The Spain U21 international will now join Atletico on a five year deal until 2023.
Following their transfer ban in the previous two transfer windows, the midfielder will now come as the Spanish sides first signing.