Noel Whelan admits that Pablo Hernandez will be a “massive miss” for Leeds United when they visit Cardiff City on Sunday.

The former Leeds striker and lifelong fan at Elland Road, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, claims that the 35-year-old is the exact sort of player Marcelo Bielsa will need to clip the Bluebirds’ wings.

As confirmed by Bielsa at his Thorp Arch media conference on Thursday, the Spanish playmaker is set to sit out Sunday’s clash and will return to training next week.

Whelan admits that the veteran’s absence is a bitter pill to swallow and that Leeds could definitely do with his guile against a team like Cardiff.

Whelan told Football Insider: “He’s such a key player for Leeds, the way he goes about his creativity and the set pieces he can take and deliver – he’s the most experienced player we have at the club so he’s going to be a massive miss.

“I think it’s one of those games where you need that creativity and that little bit of special, individual brilliance you can get from Pablo, so he’s going to be a huge miss.

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“I’m sure Marcelo Bielsa will have replacements lined up to take his position.” 

Hernandez has scored six goals and contributed six assists in 28 appearances for Leeds this season.

He played the full 90 minutes and set up a goal when Cardiff came from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 at Elland Road earlier in the season.

In other Leeds United news, Danny Mills claims that Patrick Bamford is set to plummet down the pecking order at Elland Road.