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The return of this Monk favourite will catapult Leeds to the next level

COMMENT By Emma Sanders

The return of Pablo Hernandez will be a huge boost for Garry Monk and he will play a massive part in keeping Leeds in the play-off spots at the end of the season if he stays injury-free upon his return.

The two have history too. The 31-year-old played alongside Monk at Swansea and was captained by his manager at a time when the Welsh club were flying high in the Premier League.

He built a strong friendship with Monk during those years and the Leeds manager has always rated the Spaniard very highly, claiming he was a “top player” in September.

Hernandez joined Leeds on loan from Al-Arabi in the summer after spending time at Rayo Vallecano last season and he was one of Leeds’ most impressive performers prior to picking up an injury.

The midfielder has missed the last six games after suffering from a hamstring injury but he is expected to return to the squad for the clash against Preston after re-joining training last week.

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So far this season he has already made 12 Championship appearances and played in three league cup games and has added two goals and two assists.

Technically he is superb, and his composure and quality on the ball is a huge asset in the Championship. Leeds have been doing well without him but he adds a rhythm to the side that’s missing when he’s out.

In possession, he creates time and space, and he will be key if Monk’s side hope to achieve a play-off position at the end of the season.

In other Leeds news, Hernandez could be joined by this other star player for the clash against Preston.