In the most cautious way possible, it may be time to state the following: Theo Hernandez has looked good since returning from suspension. Maybe it was that Kevin Rodrigues, who played as Sociedad’s left back in Theo’s absence, also played in the match where Theo returned to the squad — giving the Real Madrid loanee something to think about.
Since his return, he’s cut down on his defensive mistakes, has contributed offensively for Sociedad, and has given his counterpart Hector Moreno more defensive aid.
Tonight against Celta Vigo, Theo was an active cog offensively. This may be the best sequence to show his contributions tonight — getting in a shooting position before tracking back to hound Iago Aspas:
Theo’s game is never without kinks, as he still needs to sharpen his decision-making offensively while getting a better grasp of his defensive positioning. But he’s gutted some of his mental miscues from previous games early this season. Sometimes he holds the ball too long on his dribbles:
On other runs, he can cut inside and cause a defensive collapse:
Sociedad are hard to stop when their offensive line is on point. Against Levante, before the international break, Garitano got almost nothing from anyone offensively apart from Theo until around the 70th minute, when Oyarzabal, Juanmi, and Junuzaj woke up. Tonight, all three of those players were in gear. After Oyarzabal opened the scoring, and Zurutuza made it 2 - 0 with a brilliant header in the second half; Theo had a chance to make it 3 - 0. He won the ball high up the pitch and cut to the top of the box for a shot that was blocked:
Celta pulled one back in the 82nd minute when Maxi Gomez came off the bench to meet a Brais Mendez header. Unfortunately Theo wasn’t great on that defensive sequence, as he let Mendez in behind him:
Theo finished this match with a game-high 84 touches, three shots, two completed dribbles, two tackles, two interceptions, and completed 81.8% of his 55 passes. He’s taken encouraging steps in the last few matches, with plenty of room to improve.