There is not a single Leeds United fan that you could find who would have anything bad to say about Pablo Hernandez. He really is that well liked by Whites supporters.

He’s been absent for a while with the official party line being that he has a muscular injury. However, fan noise has been generated in some quarters after his show of dissent following him being substituted against Leicester City.

Hernandez apologised for that and a small number of fans are wondering if the midfield maestro is being given the cold shoulder by Marcelo Bielsa.

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images Sport

Pablo Hernandez – game time needed

Whatever the reasons, whatever the tale, Pablo needs games that he appears unlikely to get at Elland Road. His age, the demands of the Premier League and the presence of fellow Spaniard Rodrigo are a hindrance here.

Hernandez is 35 in age but not 35 in legs. He still has that mercurial talent that can unlock sides. It would make sense that he be given a chance to get games under his belt, so-to-speak. The Championship would be the ideal place for that; the ideal place for him to showcase his undoubted talents.

Pablo Hernandez – pure Championship class

Hernandez oozes class from every pore and is a bona fide marvel at Championship level. He has been the winner of Leeds United’s POTY award for the last three seasons. Over those seasons, El Mago has scored 28 goals and provided 22 assists.

Here is a graphic (below), courtesy of Smarterscout, showing just what he is about at Championship level.

Key insights from the above graphic show:

  • 1. Disciplined down the right flank, Hernandez prefers to play short passes (blue blocks) in the attacking third – see also left flank
  • 2. More centrally, Hernandez tends to play either medium range (green blocks) or longer range (yellow blocks) passes – these are the ones where he plays teammates into scoring positions
  • 3. Within range, often arriving late, Hernandez prefers to shoot (grey blocks) from a more central posisiton which offers a greater chance of scoring success.

Three Championship teams who’d benefit from Hernandez magic

Swansea City: a return to former club Swansea could be a ‘prodigal son’ moment for Hernandez. The Swans sit 4th in the Championship table – just two points from the summit. They are on a decent run of form that has taken them to that position. Come January they will hope to still be in and about the mix. Having a pivot such as Hernandez could prove vital as they look to negotiate that tricky second half of the season.

Brentford: The Bees would be buzzing should they be able to land a prize such as Pablo for the January run to the end of the season. They already have a jewel in Ivan Toney who has 15 goals for the season already. With a proven provider such as Hernandez behind him pulling the strings, you’d see that total growing.

Huddersfield Town: United’s local neighbours from just down the M62 have a Leeds connection in former Under-23 coach Carlos Corberan, now boss at the John Smith’s. They sit 13th in the table, victims of inconsistency. Drafting in Hernandez, should he be made available, would provide a dual goals/assist threat and he’d complement the likes of Josh Koroma and Frazier Campbell up top.

Would Leeds United be wise to loan out Pablo Hernandez to a Championship club in January?

Yes.

He’s 35 – needs game time.

No.

Quality player – keep at club.