There’s a story that refuses to go away at Leeds United at the moment.
Pablo Hernandez was dropped for the game against Crystal Palace before the international break after a petulant reaction to getting subbed off in the game against Leicester.
Hernandez apologised and we hoped that was that.
However, Hernandez was missing from the squad again for the game against Arsenal on Sunday.
Marcelo Bielsa said he was injured but there are some fans who are reading more into it.
Phil Hay delivered his verdict in a Q&A on the Athletic on Sunday: “I was told he had a muscle injury this week. Not sure how serious or how long it’ll keep him out though.”
One fan asked, “Does it sound legit or a cover story?”
Hay responded saying, “Bielsa doesn’t tend to do cover stories. The time to bluff would have been after the Palace game – to pretend he had a knock and missed out on that basis.
“Whether or not Bielsa considers the whole Leicester issue done and dusted I don’t know but I doubt he’d invent this injury.”
Hernandez in the stand says a lot
Hay is saying that these are two separate issues and given how Bielsa has handled the Hernandez situation, we’d tend to agree.
It makes no sense for him to admit he was dropped despite being fit for the Palace game and then inventing an injury for the Arsenal clash.
However, until Hernandez is back in the squad, these questions won’t go away.
Leeds fans will have been happy to see Hernandez watching the game from the stands and that certainly hints that things have been patched up.
However, Hernandez is unlikely to get too many starts this season regardless of his relationship with Bielsa.
Rodrigo has been a real standout for Leeds this season and looks better every game that he plays.
He didn’t start yesterday after recovering from Covid-19 but almost won the game when he came on.
He’s a class player who should take the number 10 spot at Leeds week-in, week-out, leaving Hernandez as an impact player off the bench.
Hernandez obviously wants to play – we all got that from his reaction to being subbed off.
Will he be happy playing second fiddle at Leeds all season? We certainly hope so. He’s still got a lot to offer.
In other Leeds United news, ‘That is not normal’ – MotD pundit slams one Leeds player for display v Arsenal