Could Pablo Hernandez enjoy Gareth Bale-like resurgence at Leeds?
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Could Pablo Hernandez enjoy Gareth Bale-like resurgence at Leeds?

As things stand, Leeds United fans would be forgiven for wondering whether Pablo Hernandez’s time at Elland Road could come to an end this summer.

No player made a bigger contribution as Leeds rose from mid-table mediocrity to Championship promotion winners last season. But his impact in the Premier League has proved to be minimal.

Surprisingly, the 35-year-old has only started two games in the top flight. Meanwhile, he has made a further 11 appearances from the bench.

(Photo by Mark Leech/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

His contract expires in 2022 (via club’s official website). But in truth, it is currently difficult to see the magician staying until the end of his deal.


It would be a sad end for a player who has given so much to the club if indeed his departure came this summer.

However, perhaps there may be reason to believe that Hernandez could still have another chapter to write before he is done at Leeds.

It would have only been a few weeks ago that some Tottenham fans may have felt compelled to count down the days until Gareth Bale’s loan came to an end.

(Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

Bale really struggled upon his return to North London. He was used sparingly by Jose Mourinho. And when he did play, he only showed occasional flashes of his brilliance.

But Bale now looks poised to silence all of his doubters. With more game-time, the Welshman has scored four and provided three assists in his last four games in all competitions.

Admittedly, he still needs to prove that he can make a similar impact against better opposition. But you would not bet against him stealing the show on several more occasions before the end of the campaign.

And Bale’s resurgence should perhaps influence Marcelo Bielsa over how he uses Hernandez during the remaining months of the season.

This is not a comparison of the two players. But there are certainly some parallels between the situations they have found themselves in this season.

Both are legendary figures at their respective clubs, reaching or into the latter stages of their careers.

Neither player has played as much as they would have hoped. And their lack of minutes have hurt them when they have featured.

Like Bale, Hernandez has shown flashes of his brilliance. While Bale had his mazy run on his debut against West Ham and a winner against Brighton, Hernandez hit the woodwork against Leicester and got two assists in a win over Newcastle.

But it is only by giving Bale more time on the pitch that Spurs have started to see the best of him once again.

That should leave Leeds fans with hope that Hernandez can look a lot more like the Whites’ talisman once again at some stage in the future – particularly if Bielsa takes a chance and puts more faith in him.

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