Pablo Hernandez is a true Leeds great. What he’s done for the football club is up there with some of the best they’ve ever had in the modern era.
The Spaniard arrived at Elland Road in 2017 after a spell in Qatar when his football career at the top level appeared to be done and dusted.
He scored just five league goals during a spell with Swansea so this was hardly a move that was going to set the world alight.
Yet, he and Marcelo Bielsa created an iconic duo. For three consecutive years, Hernandez won Leeds’ Player of the Year award and it wasn’t hard to work out why.
Capable of playing on the wing or as an attacking midfielder, his versatility was also a huge asset to the Whites.
Hernandez finally departed this summer following the conclusion of his contract and it was probably about time. The Spanish magician started just three times in the top-flight last term, failing to reach the dizzy heights of years gone by.
It remains to be seen whether Leeds sign a replacement. However, they could find his ideal heir in Sampdoria’s Mikkel Damsgaard.
Reports suggest that he’s caught the eye of Leeds, among others, after standing out for Denmark at the European Championships.
Damsgaard, who like Hernandez can play out wide and centrally, scored two goals and registered one assist. He even fired home a wonderful free-kick against England in the semi-finals.
His all-around qualities are incredibly similar to Hernandez, with the Dane providing evidence of a player who can create and score in equal measure, finding the net 15 times in his senior club career.
Those are two of Damsgaard’s strongest attributes with the Denmark international registering a whopping four key passes and six attempts at goal in a World Cup qualifying clash against Moldova.
Another impressive aspect of the baby faced assassin’s game is tight control and ball retention. Hernandez was phenomenal at taking up possession, driving forward and then beating his man.
Damsgaard is equally adept at this, performing 1.5 dribbles in Serie A last term.
It will take a special footballer to live up to the billing of Hernandez but the Leeds target clearly has plenty in his locker.