In some Leeds United news which was perhaps to be expected, it has been confirmed that both Pablo Hernandez and Gaetano Berardi will leave the Premier League club this summer.
Hernandez in particular has played such a huge role in the Whites’ ascent to the top flight from their days in the Championship, amassing an impressive 174 games for the club, scoring 36 goals and providing 41 assists, and his last-gasp winner against Swansea in last year’s promotion run-in has gone down in legend.
With the Premier League season coming to an end after Leeds’ clash against West Brom on Sunday afternoon, Marcelo Bielsa must surely grasp the opportunity to give Hernandez a well-deserved send-off in front of the returning Elland Road fans.
The Spaniard turned 36 last month and it has been incredibly telling that the highest number of minutes he has played in one top-flight game this season is the 67 that he completed against Leicester way back in early November.
Dubbed as an “inspiration“, the £21,000-a-week earner has previously stated that he wouldn’t want to overstay his welcome at Leeds if he felt like the time had passed him by. He said: “If you talk about football tactically or technically, this is probably the best time of my career. Physically I feel good but obviously 10 years ago, I felt better. I can’t change this.”
Now that the time has come for him to leave, the Spaniard should be given the chance to say his goodbyes on the pitch when Leeds welcome the Baggies to Elland Road.
It’s a sentiment which has been echoed by former Leeds ace Andy Couzens, who suggested that Hernandez and Berardi should both feature this afternoon.
The 45-year-old said: “All good things have to come to an end!! Two players that have given everything to this great club and will be forever in the club’s hearts. Let’s see them both play for the last time on Sunday and with only 8.5 thousand fans in the stadium they will still get the best send-off.”
Hernandez deserves the opportunity to play one last time in a Leeds shirt, and Bielsa should be all for it. The Elland Road faithful would surely be absolutely buzzing to see it.