Pablo Hernandez’s chances of appearing again for Leeds this season are fading – and he may not get more many minutes as a United player.
Fewer have touched the hearts more than the Spanish magician has during his five seasons 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 has seen his playing-time vastly reduced. Indeed the veteran playmaker, 36 next month, has featured just 10 times all season.
Hernandez could not make Leeds’ matchday squad for Monday’s 2-0 defeat at West Ham. His absence was cited as a mucle injury.
And with the player expected to leave Elland Road at the end of the season, his game-time between now and then could continue to be limited.
That is the view of Leeds journalist Phil Hay. Speaking about Hernandez’s lack of action on The Athletic, he admitted minutes for the player could be few and far between.
“It’s increasingly hard to think that he will get a sustained run again,” Hay said. “The squad is evolving and changing which, sad to say, is a fact of life in football. That’s how it goes. Time catches up with everyone.”
However, the Leeds hero is more likely to return to Spain and join his hometown club Castellon. They are currently 21st in the Segunda Division and face a battle to stay in the second tier.
The former Spain forward is part owner of the club and Leeds rejected an approach from Castellon in January.
Bielsa claims Leeds were superior at West Ham
Bielsa, meanwhile, was left to rue his side’s defeat at West Ham on Monday night, feeling his side were the better team for long periods.
Speaking after the game, Bielsa told Sky Sports: “In the initial 15 minutes we were very good. In the final 30 minutes of the first half we defended poorly. In the second half we defended well and attacked well.
“We played better in the second half than they did in the first half. The differences in the first half were smaller than in the second half.
“We created 10 opportunities at goal without taking into account the disallowed goals. They were sufficent to deserve a different result.
“I don’t ignore in those 30 minutes they created danger that was important. In the hour we were the dominant side we were superior than West Ham were in the 30.”