MOT View: Leeds ace dubbed 'magic' by Keith Andrews can hold key to PL promotion
Pablo Hernandez was once again at his best on Saturday as Leeds United stormed to a 4-0 victory against Hull City at the KCOM Stadium.
Even though he’s set to celebrate his 35th birthday next month, Hernandez is still capable of rolling back to years and providing the spark that Leeds need in order to win matches.
Although he probably wasn’t the man of the match at the weekend, the form of the experienced Spaniard still seems to be the key behind a successful push for automatic promotion to the Premier League for the Whites.
Hernandez has scored two goals and assisted two goals in his last three Championship appearances for Leeds, meaning he’s been directly involved in 66 per cent of their goals in that time.
In that time, Leeds have also picked up maximum points, moved five points clear of third and have closed down the gap to league-leaders West Brom to just one point.
If Hernandez performs well and is getting among the goals then that just seems to be something that really sparks Leeds into life.
And that spark is down to the magical abilities he can showcase on the football pitch, according to former West Brom midfielder Keith Andrews.
“If you look at the change in the way he’s had to play, he’s had to play deeper at times. He’s not in those advanced positions as much but he still creates moments of absolute magic,” said Andrews on Sky Sports Football after full-time on Saturday.
“In the first half there was the shot off the bar, off the post, the crosses that he puts in. There are little moments of real class.
“He’s not as involved as frequently in the final third but when he is, he’s still a class act.”
Hernandez was simply unplayable against Hull.
Stats by WhoScored show that the ex-Valencia midfielder enjoyed eight per cent of the overall possession at the KCOM Stadium – a stat which no other player bested.
He also made four key passes – again, no player completed more – and had three shots at goal, one of which hitting the crossbar while another found it’s way into the back of the net.
Hernandez also did the dirty work defensively as he attempted more tackles  than any other Leeds player and managed to make two clearances and one interception.
It’s worth mentioning again that Hernandez turns 35 next month but he’s covering almost every blade of grass on the pitch, as shown by WyScout’s heatmap from Saturday.
Hernandez is a gem of a player and is arguably the best that Leeds have had since they dropped out of the Premier League all those years ago.
If any one player is going to inspire an automatic return to the top-flight then it has to be the magic Spaniard.