For his World Cup debut, Theo Hernandez would have preferred another scenario. Even if he largely participated in the victory against Australia with an assist for Adrien Rabiot (4-1, Tuesday), Lucas’ little brother had to quickly forget the serious injury – rupture of the cruciate ligaments of the right knee – of his eldest (26 years old). The youngest of Hernandez, 25, replaced him in the 13th minute. Didier Deschamps therefore had to launch his lining on the left earlier than expected and, now, without a parachute in this place.
“Lucas is a real defender, unlike me”
Returning to a four-man defense, the coach had preferred Lucas for more defensive guarantees. The 2018 world champion is less “crazy” (dixit Theo), more rigorous and disciplined. “I know I have to learn how to defend better, recently confided to us the captain of AC Milan. I have to find the best balance between my instincts as an attacker and my position as a defender. Lucas is a real defender, unlike me. We sometimes occupy the same place but we are not the same players. I am a modern full-back who likes to participate in the game, bring the surplus, go after his actions and score. »
The Italian champion, however, progressed defensively, without losing his momentum. “Theo’s profile may also be more favorable to Kylian Mbappé, who needs more of a side who passes behind his back to trigger combinations, underlines Willy Sagnol, the coach of Georgia. He can no longer free her spaces. Theo can also split behind his back to cross. We saw it a lot against Australia. Theo can also create actions on his own with his speed. Conversely, the Blues lose defensive stability. Lucas is more of a defender at heart, with his aggressiveness. He has more interesting body language for his partners. Especially in a defense that lacks experience. »
“When he plays piston, Theo has hardly any equivalent”
Collectively, the Munich player will be lacking in the big matches. “When he plays piston, Theo has hardly any equivalent, continues the 2006 world vice-champion. But he is less solid left back four behind than his brother. He defends more by advancing than by retreating. Its room for improvement lies in placement. »
Theo Hernandez’s preferential position on the left makes him a hallway host. Its added value is materialized by its unprecedented offensive statistics. After 8 selections, the side was decisive 6 times (1 goal and 5 assists). In 33 selections, his brother has never scored, even if everyone remembers his decisive pass for Benjamin Pavard against Argentina in 2018 (4-3) or his center deflected in his goal by the German Mats Hummels at Euro 2021 (1-0).
Physically, the two brothers have the capacity to repeat the efforts with the same power. The Blues will therefore not lose in the commitment. In group life, however, the youngest does not have the same seniority and the same social weight as his eldest. The youngest is more shy while the Munich resident was more of an atmosphereist, with his positive side. “He is even the opposite of his brother, Judge Ousmane Dembélé. I knew him in the youth selection. He did not changed. He is a very calm person. »Theo won’t do Lucas behind the scenes. But he will definitely play for him on the pitch.