Leeds’ first signing of the January transfer window, star midfielder Pablo Hernandez, has admitted that he ‘always wanted to stay here for longer’ during his first interview as a permanent member of the Elland Road sides squad.

Since joining Leeds from Al-Arabi initially on loan back in August, the former Spain international has scored three goals in 15 appearances for the Whites this season and has fast become a crowd favourite at Elland Road during his short time with the Yorkshire side.

The Spanish star has since made his loan signing a permanent one with Leeds much to the delight of both the Leeds fans but also his manager Garry Monk.

Whites manager Garry Monk, who previously worked with Hernandez at Premier League side Swansea City, regards the 31-year-old attacker as a key member of his squad and starting eleven at Elland Road. Monk admitted that he was “very confident” of securing a permanent deal for the player this January and his wishes have come to fruition as Hernandez joined on an original six-month deal with the option of a further year.

“I am very happy to sign a permanent deal with Leeds United,” said Hernandez, according to the Yorkshire Evening Post. “I knew I initially came here on loan for six months, but in my mind I always wanted to stay here for longer.”

“Leeds gave me the chance to return to English football and I am very happy because I really enjoy the football here in England. When I first came here a lot of people told me Leeds United are a big club, but I already knew this from my time at Valencia, when the two sides met in the Champions League semi-final.

“Leeds have unbelievable fans, an unbelievable stadium, a really good training ground and very professional staff and I really like all of this. The fans believe in this team and that is important for the confidence of the team, but we need to stay calm as it is still early in the season.”

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MA Sports Journalism student & Football Analyst for Opta. Bradford City fan.