Thanks to a fruitful summer transfer window, Leeds United are stacked with talent. The likes of Robin Koch and Raphinha have already proven to be strokes of genius from Victor Orta and his entourage. Now, with the January window fast approaching, the Whites are likely to turn to the market once again to further bolster their crew.
Despite a dominant season in the Championship which ended in promotion and silverware, Leeds aren’t looking too confident in their returning Premier League season.
They may have secured surprise results against the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal, but their recent run of form highlights a major blip on the radar. Leeds have won just four of their last ten fixtures across all competitions and were handed a humiliating 3-0 defeat to League Two side Crawley Town.
With this being said, Marcelo Bielsa must start considering who his best players are and who simply doesn’t cut the mustard. Although heartbreaking to admit, it seems as though Pablo Hernandez is amongst those who no longer fit the bill.
The Spaniard put in an unforgettable shift last season to help his team over the line and back into the Premier League. According to Transfermarkt, Hernandez contributed an impressive nine goals and nine assists from midfield, finishing as Leeds’ second top scorer for the campaign, behind only Patrick Bamford.
This time round however, he is struggling to find his groove. The physical demand of the Premier League could be taking its toll on the 35-year-old, as he has only managed to rack up two assists so far this season. Bielsa has started the £23,500 per week midfielder just twice this season out of his eight top flight appearances – making way for summer signing Rodrigo instead.
It will be a tough pill to swallow as Hernandez is very much part of the furniture at Elland Road. Phil Hay lauded him as an “unreal” player last summer, but his performances have since dipped. If Leeds are to survive in the Premier League, they must be willing to make merciless decisions.
The Spain international seriously struggled in the Whites’ FA Cup exit against Crawley. According to Sofascore, he lost possession an alarming 32 times and was unable to hit the target with any of his shots towards goal.
If a talisman like Hernandez can’t make an impact against a League Two side, it’s time the club start to consider their options outside of his service.
In other news, Bielsa must make ruthless call on Helder Costa…