Pablo Hernandez will be around for another year in White, as Leeds United announced that his extension was activated by the number of appearances that the Spaniard made for the club during the 2016-17 campaign.
Hernandez, the former Valencia, Getafe, Rayo Vallecano, and Swansea City player, joined Leeds from Qatari club Al-Arabi as a loan deal for the 2016-17 season that was made permanent during the January transfer window. The midfielder was a teammate of Garry Monk during the manager’s playing days at Swansea, and he was a key player for United last season.
Retaining a player of Hernandez’s quality will be critical for the club, as the management try to assemble a squad that will fight for one of the automatic promotion slots for the 2017-18 season.
Hernandez started the year with a bang, with the Yorkshire Evening Post calling him the most creative player in the Championship back in November, but as the season wore on, he seemed to lose steam.
While it’s not a signing that will set the world on fire, it is important for Leeds to retain their best players. It seems that Monk trusts his former teammate to be a creative force for United, and Hernandez was a key member of the first team. He was tied for second on the team with six goals in all competitions, and also registered eight assists on the season, which lead the team. He might be 32 years old, but he’s still a valuable member of the team. Letting him go for free or a small fee would be a mistake, as the money that would be used finding a replacement for him could be better spent elsewhere, perhaps agreeing a fee with Hernandez’s former club for a Kyle Bartley? Either way, Hernandez has been retained for another season.