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Exclusive: Nigel Martyn comments on Pablo Hernandez's future at Leeds ahead of January

Nigel Martyn has told The Boot Room that he does not think Pablo Hernandez will leave Leeds United in January despite falling down the pecking order, following the signings of Raphinha and Rodrigo Moreno.

Hernandez, 35, scored arguably the most-important goal of the 2019-20 campaign as Leeds gained promotion to the Premier League in a 1-0 win over Swansea. He has played 162 times for Leeds, becoming a club legend of the modern era at Elland Road.

However, the former Spain international has been left out of the matchday squad for the last four matches and while Marcelo Bielsa says the playmaker has been injured – the player’s wife Tweeted last week that Hernandez was “superhealthy”.

He has failed to feature, even on the bench, since he reacted angrily after being substituted during the 4-1 defeat to Leicester City. But Martyn believes he will remain at Leeds – unless Hernandez is unhappy at Elland Road.

“It’s a strong squad with everyone fit,” Martyn told TBR. “There are a lot of games. He’s going to need every member, I don’t see him going out on loan unless he is unhappy. He’s been great for Leeds. Nobody wants his career at Leeds to finish like that.

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“He will get opportunities. It is down to himself to force himself into the side. We’re realising you can’t have luxuries. He has got the legs? He can play in certain games where you can afford to have him – but in the Premier League, there aren’t many.”

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TBR’s view – Does Hernandez need to leave on loan?

If Hernandez does leave Leeds on loan, it will not be the end of his Leeds stay – given he has a contract at Leeds until 2022. With Rodrigo, Stuart Dallas, Raphinha, Jamie Shackleton and others playing ahead of Hernandez at times, game time is required.

But as Martyn says, Leeds have plenty of games coming up over the next few weeks – as the Whites prepare for a busy Christmas period. Bielsa confirmed in his press conference that Hernandez is now available, and he could be on the bench on Friday.

Hernandez is expected to get game time over the course of the next month – but if he fails, then a January move may prove tempting for the ex-Valencia and Swansea man.

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