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Pablo Hernandez sits out Leeds United friendly amid interest from Europa League club

Israeli club Maccabi Tel Aviv are rumored to be interested

Bristol City v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

With all of the transfer rumors going on right now about players that could be on their way to the club, it’s a bit different to hear about rumors of players linked to be LEAVING the club. Well, unless it’s Giuseppe Bellusci, then it makes perfect sense.

With all of the recent acquisitions, it’s almost like fans have forgotten what it’s like to have a player linked with a move away from Leeds United, but since the summer transfer window spending spree has brought approximately 8000 midfielders and/or wingers to the club, someone might have to go. But Pablo Hernandez?

Hernandez was one of the stars of the season last year for Leeds United, so while it’s not especially surprising to see that there would be interest for him, it is a little odd that the links appear right as he is held out of a preseason match. Phil Hay is one of the more “in the know” people in the press when it comes to Leeds United, and while Maccabi Tel Aviv are about as far away as you can get and still be in UEFA, the ex-CEO of Leeds, Ben Mansford, is now a part of the Israeli club’s front office. Maccabi Tel Aviv have already started their season, with the club having a Europa League qualifier on Thursday against KR Reykjavík.

If you asked Leeds fans to write down a list of players that should be on the move, Pablo Hernandez would be relatively low on the list. The Yorkshire Evening Post had him as the 8th best player for Leeds United last season according to fan votes and was tied for 2nd place on the team with six goals. If the coaching staff had to pick anyone to move on, it would likely be fringe midfielders, not one of the bright spots for the team last season.

However, it would be understandable if Pablo Hernandez wants a move after it appears that the biggest signing of the summer for Leeds, Samu Saiz, plays in the same exact spot that Hernandez does, operating as either the 2nd striker in a 4-4-2/ 4-4-1-1 formation or as the number 10 in a 4-2-3-1 formation. So while the club might want Hernandez to stay and split time with Saiz or as insurance if Saiz flops, Hernandez might want a guaranteed spot in the starting XI that he isn’t going to get at Leeds anymore.

Hernandez had his inconsistent spells last season, and seemed to disappear later in the season when everything was falling apart. Many fans seemed to think that he was overplayed by Garry Monk last season and that having him come off the bench as a super sub or as a squad rotation player would be ideal. And while it might be ideal for the club, Hernandez might not be willing to accept that role.

Either way, here’s hoping that him being held out of preseason was to rest him and give other players a chance to shine rather than a precursor to a move. After all, Chris Wood has yet to appear for the first team during the preseason and he’s not going anywhere.