By Noel Whelan

21st Apr, 2020 | 10:30am

Exclusive: Leeds tipped to replace Pablo Hernandez this summer

Noel Whelan insisted Leeds United must move to replace Pablo Hernandez in the summer if they secure promotion to the Premier League.

The former Whites striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, claimed a younger version of the 35-year-old is needed as he comes to the latter stages of his career.

The creative midfielder signed a two-year contract extension in November which will keep him at Elland Road until the summer of 2022.

Whilst the Spanish attacker has been heavily influential this year, statistically, it has been his lowest return since arriving in north Yorkshire in 2016.

In his 28 appearances this season, Hernandez has scored six goals and provided six assists – exactly half of his contribution last season.

Whelan believes a creative is a position Marcelo Bielsa will have to address in the upcoming transfer window.

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“There is a lack of Premier League experience and a lack of quality in certain areas,” he told Football Insider.

“You have Pablo Hernandez coming to the back end of his career and he is the one player that can produce that bit of brilliance. He is a standout player and he will need replacing.

“It will cost you money to get a player like Pablo Hernandez in his prime but it does make the difference.

“To complement that, you need a striker to get on the end of his passes and crosses from wide areas. That is going to cost money.”

In regards to Premier League, Hernandez represents Leeds’s most experienced player. The attacking midfielder has featured 57 times in the top-flight of English football.

The Championship leaders are poised to return to the Premier League for the first time since 2004 with seven points between themselves and the play-offs with nine games remaining.

In other Leeds United news, Danny Mills has told Football Insider his reaction as 23-year-old appears destined for Elland Road.