Phil Hay expects Pablo Hernandez to leave Leeds United in the summer as he “doesn’t seem to be floating [Marcelo] Bielsa’s boat” at the moment.
Hernandez, 35, has come off the bench in each of Leeds’ last three Premier League matches despite a midfield injury crisis which has seen both Rodrigo and Kalvin Phillips sidelined.
Tyler Roberts has started the last three games over Hernandez, leading to concerns that the Spanish veteran is way down Bielsa’s pecking order.
With speculation lingering around Hernandez’s future, The Athletic journalist Hay has poured more doubt on the Leeds midfielder amid his lack of starts in the Premier League lately.
Writing on The Athletic website, he said: “Hernandez just doesn’t seem to be floating Bielsa’s boat. I don’t know if he doesn’t think Hernandez has the legs or the influence anymore but he really isn’t [relying] on him much.
“I only see this ending with Hernandez leaving in the summer.”
End of an era
Hernandez has been one of the best signings Leeds have made in the last decade because without him, we might still be a Championship club.
He was sensational in the second-tier under Bielsa but time appears to have taken its toll on the former Spain international, who’s struggled to look comfortable in the Premier League since helping Leeds win promotion.
There were signs last season that he might struggle in the top-flight but you cannot blame Leeds, Hernandez and Bielsa for wanting to see how he did.
However, it simply hasn’t happened for the playmaker, who will celebrate his 36th birthday in April.
Hernandez’s contract at Elland Road does not expire until the end of next season when he’ll be 37 but there was reported interest from Spanish club Castellon in the last transfer window so that could re-emerge in the summer.
With Hernandez approaching the end of his playing days, Leeds are not going to want to hold him back so this bit-part role he’s found himself in at Elland Road benefits no one.
As Hernandez has been such a great servant to the club, letting him go at the end of the season would be the best thing to do, especially if fans are able to attend Elland Road for the final match against West Brom to say goodbye.
In other Leeds United news, Match of the Day’s analysis on Leeds was woeful this weekend.