It looks increasingly more likely that Leeds veteran Pablo Hernandez is inching away from Elland Road. Despite playing a big role in their long-awaited promotion last season, the midfielder has fallen out of favour under Marcelo Bielsa this campaign.
The club’s return to the Premier League means that the physical demand is much higher. The Whites are now competing with some of the strongest teams in the world and the manager must ensure he is fielding his best possible squad each week. Unfortunately for Hernandez, it seems that the regular Leeds lineup is being moved on without him.
Kevin Campbell recently spoke to Football Insider about the 35-year-old’s situation at Elland Road. The player missed out on his spot against Arsenal due to a reported “niggle”, but he could be available to play against Everton this weekend.
Campbell claimed that Hernandez is “upset” and “unhappy” at the moment following Bielsa’s choice to substitute him off against Leicester. Fellow pundit Alex McLeish also said that he feels the Spaniard’s time as a Leeds regular is coming to an end.
He compared his situation with Scott Brown at Celtic, who despite also being 35, is still one of Neil Lennon’s first names on the team-sheet. However, Bielsa has shown that he can be ruthless with his decisions and axing Hernandez is a prime example.
Hernandez has less than two years left on his current £23,500 deal and Leeds will want to make moves before he is eligible for pre-contract agreements. Cashing in on him at the end of this season seems like the only logical way to go for Victor Orta and Andrea Radrizzani.
Should they opt to move him on and not offer him new terms, the board must waste no time in exploring their options on the transfer market. As it stands, Hernandez is the only recognised senior attacking midfielder at the club and not replacing him could seriously hinder Leeds’ chance of scoring. Despite not yet registering a goal or an assist this season, the Spain international has produced some game-changing performances in the past.
Phil Hay waxed lyrical about the attacking “demon” last season and lauded him as “unreal”.
Bielsa simply cannot put more pressure on Patrick Bamford by starving him of creativity. The 27-year-old is already relied on far too much as the team’s main source of goals.
In other news, Radrizzani given reprieve amid likely Laurens De Bock exit…