Leeds United could be set to bid farewell to fans’ favourite Pablo Hernandez in January, according to pundit Danny Mills.
Fewer have touched the hearts more than the Spanish magician has during his four years at Leeds. He has been an instrumental figure under Marcelo Bielsa and did as much as any other player to help secure promotion last season.
However, this season, Hernandez, now 35, appears to have struggled. Having been substituted in Leeds’ 4-1 home defeat to Leicester, a petulant Hernandez trudged off the field and was clearly unhappy at being withdrawn.
Talk of a rift began to emerge soon after and the Spaniard has not figured for Leeds since.
While Hernandez has since apologised for his actions, he faces a long road back. Bielsa admitted last week the player will need to build up his fitness for the Under-23s before being considered again. To make that point clear, Hernandez was pictured training away from the first-team squad ahead of Saturday’s clash at Chelsea.
And with Huddersfield, Brentford and Swansea all linked, his time at Elland Road could soon be over, claims Mills.
“Time caught up with him a little bit last season,” Mills told Football Insider.
“There were times when he was out injured for periods and when he came back in it was off the bench.
“It happens to us all, unfortunately. As you enter the twilight of his career, injuries get harder to get over.
“The game isn’t slowing down in any way shape or form at the moment. The game is constantly getting quicker and quicker all the time.
“That’s just how it is, you have to deal with that accordingly.
“As you get to that age it does get harder and harder in those situations.”
Whelan also fears parting of ways
The claim from Mills follows a similar suggestion last month from Noel Whelan that also stated Hernandez’s time could be up.
Comparing the situation to that of Pontus Jansson, Whelan suggested Hernandez would need to work hard to win back Bielsa’s trust after his reaction to be being subbed in the Leicester game.
“He is a great player and I love him to bits, I really do. But petulance and immaturity like that, when he is a role model to the young lads and fans, is unacceptable,” he said.
“Marcelo Bielsa will not stand for it. We know that from the Pontus Jansson situation.
“There is definitely something there which needs to be sorted out between manager and player. Let’s be clear, we could have done with him on Saturday.
“You cannot do that. You just can’t. It is so petulant on his behalf and as an experienced pro he should know better.”