A few weeks ago it was the ‘new crest’ controversy that brought Leeds United fans together and on to Twitter in howling protest. Now it is the future of a player.
That player is Spanish attacking midfielder Pablo Hernandez, formerly of Swansea City and now firmly entrenched at Leeds United, the Spaniard now an Elland Road favourite. Since his arrival, he’s often been a one bright spark amongst the gathering gloom, a beacon of hope in a mist of despair.
Hernandez signing from Qatari side Al Arabi during the January 2017 transfer window, later signing a permanent deal for the Whites. His first half-season as a Leeds United player returned an impressive six goals and eight assists, earning him a contract extension for this season.
He’s not doing too bad this season either, in fact he’s fair chugging along with his five goals and six assists. This included a brace of assists that brought Leeds United level in the home game against Bristol City in mid-February. In fact, had Pierre-Michel Lasogga have scored with his last-gasp header that cannoned back off the bar, it would have been a hat-trick assist for Pablo that day.
However, his rolling contract is up at the end of June and this eventuality is beginning to worry the Elland Road faithful. This is especially so as the club seem not to be making great strides to sign him up for longer. That prevarication is causing concern to such a level that Leeds United fans have started a Twitter movement – that movement is #PayForPablo.
#PayForPablo – Leeds United fans have their say on Twitter
Hernandez’s performances this season, having carried on from last season, have shown that consistency that fans have long known was there. It is the sort of consistency that fans love to see and the consistency that clubs can begin to build around. That was plain to see today in the diminutive Spaniard’s 85 minute display against Reading.
As an attacking force it was more than just the goal that poked Leeds United into the lead, briefly, it was much more than that. With 42 passes, Hernandez was behind a lot of the best of Leeds’ probing as they looked to rescue a ‘going down the pan’ season. What was impressive was that he had eight passes (from his overall 42) that led to team shots on goal – meaning 12% of his passes led to chances.
Here’s what some fans are saying as they #PayForPablo.
It could all be too much for Leeds United fan Oscar if the Whites don’t #PayForPablo.
If Orta wants to build a team for promotion, he needs to be a part of it.#PayForPablo
— Darren Hill (@daz_hill86) March 10, 2018
Leeds United fan Darren is pretty clear what is needed in a promotion winning side next season and that the club must #PayForPablo.
Just don’t get this. Player wants to stay. Player is a lynchpin for the side and strides ahead even at 30+. Tonnes of experience and players clearly look up to him. SIGN HIM UP. #LUFC #MOT #SignPablo #PayForPablo https://t.co/aM0phKL5yn
— Jordan Phillips (@JordyP1993) March 10, 2018
Leeds United fan Jordan is certain about the quality that Hernandez brings to the club and what will happen if they don’t #PayForPablo.
— #WALMOT (@WALM0T33) March 10, 2018
Fan account WALMOT simply states its point with few words and a timely video of what the club must do and #PayForPablo.
— Mike Daly (@MikeDaly12) March 8, 2018
Leeds United fan Mike is adamant where the money needs to come from to #PayForPablo.
There have been mutterings from the club about the need to focus on maintaining Pablo Hernandez’s fitness and a glide-n-swerve manoeuvre from Paul Heckingbottom when asked by Phil Hay about it yesterday after the 2-2 draw at Reading. There’s even been some mumblings that Hernandez’s partner is pregnant and that he wants to return home.
Whatever the veracity of those views as mentioned above, there is a definite push for clarity needed. The #PayForPablo hashtag campaign is growing, the momentum is continuing to build, and it is all down to the following tweet.