Gabriel Heinze made his first move as Atlanta United’s manager with the signing of Ronald Hernandez from Aberdeen FC. The 23-year-old Venezuelan player is set to join the Five Stripes with a four-year deal. Hernandez spent his early professional career with the Norwegian side, Stabæk, from 2017-2019. After that stint, Hernandez moved to Scottish side Aberdeen FC.
The move to Atlanta United appears to be surprising considering that Hernandez had only played six games for Aberdeen FC. There are also questions raised about the importance of this transfer. Brooks Lennon, one of Atlanta United’s brightest stars last season, is a more than capable full-back, and his position on the team seems certain. On the other side, Franco Escobar has also proven to be an outstanding full-back.
However, a key aspect of a winning team is depth, and Hernandez adds another dynamic element. With long seasons and special schedules due to the pandemic, the likelihood of injuries is higher than ever. Bringing in another strong full-back prepares the team should this occur. Hernandez also has a great relationship with striker Josef Martinez since their time on the Venezuela national team together.
Signings can often give a hint to a manager’s plans. For Heinze, this signing appears to be one step towards his goal of taking Atlanta United back to their winning ways.