Former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan believes that Pablo Hernandez knew it was time to call an end to his fantastic Whites career.
The Lowdown: Superb servant
The 36-year-old has been a wonderful player for Leeds, playing a big role in them returning to the Premier League with a nine-goal haul in their promotion-winning campaign and shining with his quality.
The Latest: Whelan discusses Hernandez decision
Whelan spoke about the decision to Football Insider, saying that Hernandez’s lack of game-time this term will have played a part in him wanting to move on:
“He’s not needed by Leeds, he’s served his purpose.
“He’s done his job, he’s been a great servant, a fantastic player. He has entertained us for sure and been an integral part of our promotion and push to where we are now.
“I think when you look at his age, look at the players that are coming through now at Leeds and the players they’ve brought in, you’ve got to say he is third choice. Maybe even further down the pecking order now.
“Another player that will be held as a legend of the club for absolutely the right reasons. A player that has been a massive part of our growth to where we are today. I think everyone would thank him for that.”
The Verdict: Right time to leave
Hernandez could easily have run down his contract at Leeds, but it is admirable that he may still be eyeing up regular football elsewhere at the age of 36.
The Spaniard has only managed two starts in the league this season and Marcelo Bielsa will be looking at summer signings, potentially sending him even further down the pecking order, as Whelan had feared.
Now is a good time to depart for all concerned and Hernandez deserves to be remembered as a true modern Leeds hero. Hopefully he will get a fitting send-off from the Elland Road faithful in today’s season-ending clash at home to West Brom.
In other news, Leeds have reportedly agreed a deal to sign a player this summer. Find out who it is here.
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