By Sean Fisher

14th Oct, 2022 | 2:14pm

Brenden Aaronson can fill Pablo Hernandez void as Leeds United 'magic man'

Brenden Aaronson has hit the ground running since arriving at Leeds United in the summer – Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Graham Smyth believes he can emulate Pablo Hernandez.

Leeds signed Aaronson from Red Bull Salzburg for £22.2million in the summer [The Athletic], and the American playmaker immediately became a mainstay in Jesse Marsch’s side.

The 21-year-old midfielder has contributed one goal and two assists for the Whites in the Premier League, and Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Smyth believes Aaronson can grow into the role Hernandez used to adopt.

Speaking about Aaronson’s performance v Crystal Palace on the weekend, Smyth told the Inside Elland Road podcast: “He beat four or maybe five, six, seven, 11 Palace players on his way to goal.

“Really lovely feet to get into the area, just days after I’d written in the Yorkshire Evening Post about the vacancy for a magic man because they used to rely so heavily on Pablo Hernandez to get them into the box and to create chances.

“We just haven’t seen anyone routinely doing it, but Aaronson really made that happen with his dribbling ability.”

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Since Hernandez’s departure from Elland Road, Leeds were crying out for a midfielder capable of linking up the midfield and attack.

The silky Spaniard used to do it with ease during his playing days in Yorkshire, but his absence was notable once he had left.

However, Marsch was quick to spot the flaw and brought in Aaronson. It’s so far, so good from the young American. Not only has he shown great creativity, but he also poses a goal threat of his own when making his tricky runs into the box.

But while the comparisons to Hernandez are obvious, Marsch will be pushing for Aaronson to make the position his own at Leeds. Living up to Hernandez is a big ask, and while they do boast similarities – they’re still very different players.

Aaronson’s energy and lung-busting runs are something Hernandez could never quite manage, and his ability to press from the front makes him a real asset defensively too.

He has done superbly to be credited with Hernandez comparisons, but Aaronson has a legacy of his own to carve out at Elland road.

In other Leeds United news, Leo Hjelde is out until the end of October and will miss three Leeds United games