Leeds United have only made one signing in the January transfer window so far, but it is one that pleased the fans, the Whites bringing Pablo Hernández in on a permanent deal.

The importance that Leeds United fans have placed in this signature is easy to understand. Manager Garry Monk’s ‘go-to’ formation demands the use of a dedicated player capable of performing in the #10 role, Hernández’s performances in this position have suggested that he is the man for this particular job.

Since his arrival, there have been signs that the Whites had finally found that ‘in-the-hole’ player who could fulfil the #10 role in the Leeds United side. Players such as Alex Mowatt and Adryan had been tried there in past seasons, but they hadn’t managed to pull it off.

However, Hernández, who first came to prominence in English football for Monk’s former club Swansea, has done just that. He has made 15 appearances for Leeds since his arrival from Qatari side Al Arabi, with 13 of these being starts. In his time at Elland Road, the diminutive Spaniard has netted three times, as well as setting up three goals with assists.

At times his range of passing is so sublime that it borders on the ridiculous, with the odd pass not finding runners mainly due to Hernández forgetting that they aren’t all Jedis attuned to the Force. However, his ball control is beautiful to watch, his level of trickery a joy to behold.


An important part of his game is putting others into dangerous positions, positions like you see on the above video. Be it through trickery or skill, Hernández has done that 38 times for Leeds United this season. Break that down to how often he achieves it over a typical 90 minutes and he puts players in situations where they have ‘chances’ 3.2 times per 90 minutes – a figure that reflects 7.6% of his completed passes. To put that into a little perspective, Arsenal’s Mesut Özil puts teammates in with a ‘chance’ with only 4.8% of his completed passes.

Now I’m in no way saying that Pablo Hernández is better that the Arsenal playmaker and multi-capped Gemrna internation Mesut Özil, not in any way. What I am saying is that the popular Spaniard is proving vital in getting Leeds players into postions where they are a danger to opponents.

The contract that brought in the ex-Valencia and Swansea player from Al Arabi is one that has been roundly welcomed throughout the whole of the Leeds United fanbase. It is a deal until the end of the season, with the option of a year’s extension. That’s as much as Leeds fans knew until earlier today when Adam Pope interviewed Hernández, where the Spaniard gave some important details about the extension clause.

Video: Pablo Hernández talks about happiness and competition for places

About Author

Cynicism turned to optimism but without the woop woops and ringing bells. Leeds United supporter through thick and thin, more thin than anything recently. Write mainly about the Whites but turn my hand to other clubs. Lover of salted crisp sandwiches. Not a hipster.