By Alan Hutton

2nd Sep, 2020 | 8:00pm

'Can't kid ourselves' - Pundit Exclusive: Leeds may be signing replacement for 'Brilliant' star

Alan Hutton insists that Leeds United will need some backup for Pablo Hernandez as they hold talks to sign a new attacking midfielder.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Aston Villa and Scotland defender insists the 25-year-old has been “brilliant” for the Whites but that he cannot be expected to play every game next season.

As revealed by Football Insider, Leeds are in negotiations over a deal for Udinese playmaker Rodrigo De Paul after they agreed personal terms with the player.

The Argentina international has primarily played as a number 10 or second striker for both club and country, although he can sit in a deeper midfield role as well.

Hutton, who is the same age as Hernandez, insists the Spanish star still has plenty to offer Marcelo Bielsa but that the club need to ensure they have competition for their creative spark.

Hutton told Football Insider: “What is he, 35? You’re not over the hill yet but again it’s a player where you wouldn’t expect him to play 40 games a season, it would be very difficult, especially at that level.

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“We’re talking about one of the top leagues in the world so it’s going to be difficult. They’ll look to bring somebody in, they’ll probably look at their whole squad but we can’t kid ourselves, they’ll be looking to get competition in for most places.

“I think Hernandez has been absolutely brilliant for them over the years, he’ll definitely have a part to play but he’ll need some backup.” 

Hernandez played 36 times in the Championship last season, with nine goals and nine assists to his name.

However, he made just two starts in the club’s final eight games of the campaign as he struggled with a niggly injury.

In other Leeds United news, Hutton insists fans will be “over the moon” if they sign a player he knows very well.