Championship

Transfer Battle: Samuel Saiz vs Pablo Hernandez

Despite drawing 1-1 with Brentford over the weekend and dropping down to third in the Championship table, Leeds United have still made a good start to the season.

Under Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds have been free-scoring and playing some excellent football with the likes of Samuel Saiz and Pablo Hernandez spearheading the Argentinian coach’s exciting attack.

Ultimately, if the Yorkshire club manage to gain promotion back to the Premier League come May, Saiz and Hernandez would have likely played major roles with the duo pivotal in how the team attacks.

With that in mind, which individual will prove to be the more influential figure for Leeds over the season?

Samuel Saiz

Saiz has yet to register a Championship goal so far this campaign, but the 27-year-old has still been impressive under Bielsa.

Saiz is often the driving force behind Leeds’ attacks with his movement and overall creativity causing problems for defenders across the Championship.

Speaking on Saiz after a 0-0 draw with Leeds at the end of August, Middlesbrough midfielder Adam Clayton told Teesside Live: “Saiz is very, very good and movement-wise he is one of the toughest players I’ve ever been up against.”

All in all, Saiz has become the creative hub of Leeds with Bielsa at the helm.

And while the Real Madrid youth product does not yet have the numbers to go with his displays, his influence on the pitch does not go unnoticed.

TT Grade: A-

Pablo Hernandez

If Saiz’s influence can be felt on the pitch, then the same applies for Hernandez. Without him, Leeds are just not the same outfit.

The 33-year-old has been out with a hamstring injury for sometime now, and Bielsa’s men have dropped a significant amount of points in his absence.

Prior to his injury, Hernandez managed to score three goals and set up a further two in five Championship appearances leaving Bielsa to describe him as being “very important to our team”.

“He is the player who has the best regularity and he’s the player with the biggest influence in the control of the games,” Bielsa told Leeds Live. “He’s a very intelligent player.

“It’s obvious that Hernandez has been very important to our team.”

Leeds boast some very talented players, but it is clear that Hernandez may just be the best or at least most influential of the bunch.

TT Grade: A

TT Verdict:

In Leeds’ squad, Saiz and Hernandez are arguably the two most creative assets Bielsa currently has at his disposal.

As previously mentioned, the duo will be key in Leeds’ chances of gaining promotion and have both been terrific additions to the club.

However, Hernandez is clearly the fulcrum in terms of leading the promotion charge on the basis of his influence and experience.

What the retired Spain international brings to the team alongside the experience he has amassed in the Premier League with Swansea City and in La Liga at Valencia makes him such an important figure within the squad.

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