Danny Mills says he expects Leeds United manager to axe a player to get Pablo Hernandez back into the starting XI as soon as possible after an update on the winger’s injury layoff.

The former Leeds and England defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says that the Spanish attacker is the one player at Elland Road who can offer something “a little bit different” in the forward line and that he could fix the club’s major issues in front of goal.

Bielsa revealed at his pre-West Brom press conference that the 34-year-old is closing in on a return to action, although refused to commit to having him back against Millwall at the weekend.

With Hernandez having missed the games against Charlton and West Brom due to his injury setback, summer arrival Helder Costa taking his place in Marcelo Bielsa’s line up, Mills says that he expects the veteran to step back into the fray as soon as he is ready.

Mills told Football Insider: “He’s the one player that is a little bit different. Yes (I think he’d be straight back in the starting XI). If it was me, definitely yes. 

“You could still play Helder Costa, this is what it is, you might have to start changing it up a little bit. At the moment, it just isn’t working particularly well.

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“They’re not putting the ball in the back of the net. This happened last season and it’s happened three or four times this season – come the end of the season it could cost them dear.” 

Prior to being sidelined, Hernandez had started every one of the Whites’ Championship fixtures, scoring two goals and contributing another two assists in his eight outings.

He was a crucial first-team player for Bielsa last season, playing 39 times prior to the play-off semi-finals, netting an impressive 12 times and setting his teammates up with another 12 assists.

In other Leeds United news, Noel Whelan has told Football Insider it is “make or break” time for one big name at Elland Road.