Pablo Hernandez missed out as Leeds United were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Arsenal on Sunday evening, with injury setbacks a theme of his season so far.
The 2019/20 season will go down in Leeds’ history as one of the most iconic in the club’s lifetime, and Pablo Hernandez’s performances arguably the centrepiece of that achievement.
At the age of 35, questions were bound to arise around whether he’d have it in his locker to carry the creative burden in the Premier League like he did in the Championship.
With two starts and two substitute appearances so far, he’ll know he can produce more for the Whites.
After starting the opening game against Liverpool, Hernandez was dealt a three-game setback meaning he made his return over a month later against Wolves.
Two games later and a muscular injury during the recent international break ruled him out of a tasty clash against Arsenal.
While it is not believed to be a major issue for Hernandez, there has been little light shed on just how significant a setback this is for the midfielder.
The Athletic’s Phil Hay delivered this update when commenting after the Arsenal draw in his Q&A, with everyone very much in the dark over his fitness:
Up next for Leeds is a trip to in-form Everton and Hernandez might be in a race to return to fitness for this one.
The signings of Rodrigo and Raphinha have relieved a lot of the pressure on Hernandez to create everything in the final third, after four years at Elland Road being the man to turn to.
We’ve always relied on him and injuries always crop up, but you’ve got to think that with our squad now stacked with more talent, the need to rush him back into the squad isn’t as great.
At his age, he’ll be eager to show he can still do it, and we all know he can, but to force him into the side ahead of schedule might not be wise.
His presence around the team is something we’ll need going forward regardless of involvement, but we have to pick and choose when to thrust him into action.