Well done Bielsa – Why Leeds have struck gold with a new deal for influential Spanish magician

Why Leeds United have struck gold with a new deal for Pablo Hernandez

According to BBC, Leeds United have secured the immediate future of veteran playmaker Pablo Hernandez, who has put pen to paper on a new deal at Elland Road until the end of the 2021-22 campaign. 

The 34-year-old’s previous deal was due to expire at the end of the ongoing season but the Whites moved quickly to extend the Spaniard’s stay in West Yorkshire by a further 24 months. 

Hernandez worked wonders for Leeds in the previous campaign, as the West Yorkshire giants made it all the way through to the playoffs. However, he hasn’t started a single league game since September due to an injury this term. 

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Pablo Hernandez impressed with 12 goals and 12 assists in 41 Championship outings for Leeds United last season (Getty Images)

The former Spanish international, who racked up 12 goals and 12 assists in 41 appearances for the Whites in the Championship the last term, kicked on from where he had signed off in the previous campaign.

In fact, he put in a match-winning display in the 3-1 victory over Bristol City in August. 

The former Valencia man followed it up with a goal in the 1-1 draw against Nottingham Forest in the subsequent fixture and fired on all cylinders in the first quarter of the campaign before an injury ruled him out.

Marcelo Bielsa has shown signs of easing Hernandez back into action, following his return from a spell on the sidelines. The manager has been affording him cameos off the bench in victories over QPR and Blackburn Rovers ahead of the international break. 

With back-to-back away fixtures against Reading and Luton Town coming up, it would be a real boost for Leeds if Hernandez can recover fully and regain his form.

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The 34-year-old has signed a new two-year deal until the summer of 2022 (Getty Images)

Jack Harrison, who has chipped in with 2 goals and 4 assists in his last 6 Championship outings, has risen to the occasion to fill the void left in the veteran’s absence. That said, Hernandez still remains indispensable to the club’s hopes of securing an automatic promotion place. 

To put things into perspective, Pablo Hernandez has been one of the Championship’s most creative players ever since his arrival at Leeds United.

The veteran has turned the clock back numerous times over the past 12 months to rip defences apart. 

Suffice to say, the ex-Swansea City star, who boasts of 29 goals and 32 assists in 132 appearances for Leeds across all competitions, still has a lot to offer at the age of 34.

Now, the Whites can now look forward to enjoying his services until the end of the 2021-22 campaign.

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Pablo Hernandez boasts of a tally of 29 goals and 32 assists for the Whites in all competitions so far (Getty Images)

Verdict

As per whoscored, Hernandez racked up a staggering 122 key passes in the Championship last season, averaging 3 per game.

His average of 2.2 key passes per game this term once again puts him head and shoulders above most of his teammates in terms of creativity, with Mateusz Klich being the only other player to match those numbers. 

Hernandez has certainly done enough to earn the new deal. And he has become the latest Leeds United player to pledge his future to the club, following the footsteps of Mateusz Klich, Stuart Dallas, Kalvin Phillips, Liam Cooper, Luke Ayling and Leif Davis.

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Credits: Getty Images

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All in all, Leeds United keeping hold of the influential playmaker beyond next summer is certainly a step in the right direction.

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Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game... keen eye for tactical battles and love to discuss the financial aspects of football...other hobbies include reading, listening to music, playing FIFA on PlayStation, traveling, etc.
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