Former Leeds United player and current BBC pundit Noel Whelan thinks Pablo Hernandez will depart Elland Road at the end of next season no matter what league the club is in, according to Football Insider.
Hernandez has been one of the Whites’ best players this season but now aged 34 there surely aren’t many miles left in the Spaniard’s legs.
Gone next season?
Whelan believes that Hernandez will leave Elland Road at the end of next season despite reports that his current contract will be extended by a further year if the club earn promotion to the Premier League.
The former Leeds forward says that despite the attacker being a class above the squad this season it can’t go on forever
“This season is the best I have ever seen him play,” Whelan told Football Insider. “He has carried Leeds at times and been instrumental in everything they have done.
“Everyone knows the quality and talent he has on the ball, but he is a leader as well and has showed tremendous desire and tenacity.
“He is a class above everyone else at Leeds United. If we get into the Premier League or stay in the Championship, given his age, I’m expecting next season to be Pablo’s last season with us.”
Not the end of the world
Of course, Hernandez can’t keep up these levels of performances forever, but this isn’t any new information to any of us.
Marcelo Bielsa and his side are well aware that Hernandez is coming towards the end of his career and will have contingency plans in place to bring in a new player to replace him.
Whether they promote from within with Tyler Roberts or Mateusz Bogusz, or they recall Samu Saiz and play him in Hernandez’s role, Leeds will have a plan.
The Whites have also been linked with Nick Powell in recent weeks who would be a more than capable replacement for the midfielder.
If Leeds are promoted to the Premier League losing Hernandez wouldn’t be that big of a hit, the 34-year-old proved during his time with Swansea that he doesn’t have the same impact in the top flight as he scored just five goals in two seasons in South Wales, compared to the 12 he has netted in the Championship this season.