Phil Hay thinks 172-game servant will leave Leeds United this summer

Leeds United winger Pablo Hernandez

Journalist Phil Hay has indicated that he believes Pablo Hernandez will depart Leeds United in the summer. 

What did Hay say?

The Athletic’s correspondent for Leeds United answered an array of questions from fans in his weekly mailbag, with multiple supporters concerned about Hernandez’s future at the club. 

In response to a fan who claimed “I would love him to stay”, Hay said the following. 

“My gut feeling is also that Hernandez will go. I’ve written about Castellon and I know a few people out there. Part of the reason they looked at signing Hernandez in January was that they thought they could get him and believed he wanted to go (despite Leeds insisting on keeping him for now).

“Given his age and how little he’s playing under Marcelo Bielsa, a parting of ways might make sense when this season ends.”

What has Hernandez’s role been this season?

The Spanish midfielder became a key part of Bielsa’s Leeds side during the club’s last two years in the Championship. 

Between 2017 and 2019, the winger made 75 Championship appearances for the Yorkshire club and also chipped in with 42 goal involvements, according to Transfermarkt

However, at 35, it now seems that Hernandez has taken more of a back-seat role during the club’s return to the Premier League, in part due to the arrival of Raphinha. 

During Leeds’ promotion-winning season, the former Swansea man featured in 23 games as Bielsa’s go-to winger. But this season, it’s been the £17m signing who has predominantly taken the reigns on the right-hand side. 

Hernandez has been limited to two Premier League starts this season, and it does admittedly seem that the pace of the top flight is a little beyond him at his age. 

Is there interest from elsewhere?

The Athletic have previously reported that Spanish Second Division side CD Castellon tried to sign the midfielder in January but Leeds were “unreceptive”. 

Castellon is where Hernandez made his professional debut and has remained in close contact with his former side. Four years ago, the Spaniard invested in the club and is now a part-owner. 

With age not on his side, Hernandez may push for a move in the summer and wish to spend his twilight years at his boyhood club. 

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Who is this former Leeds player?

Should Leeds sell?

Hernandez has been a fantastic servant to the club and will always be remembered by Leeds fans as one of the key players who helped re-establish their status as a Premier League side. 

However, it may be time for the Yorkshire club to part ways with the winger who’s made 172 appearances for the side. 

According to Salary Sport, Hernandez is the tenth-highest paid player in the squad, as he takes home a £29,000-a-week wage. Bearing in mind he’s only made two Premier League starts, you could argue that this could be better spent elsewhere. 

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