Noel Whelan is convinced Pablo Hernandez can rip up the Premier League next season even though he has now turned 34.
The Leeds United attacking midfielder has spearheaded the club’s automatic promotion pursuit this season and has been one of the best players outside of the top flight.
He turned 34 last Thursday but continued his excellent form with another fine display in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday as Marcelo Bielsa’s side ended the weekend well placed for a top-two finish.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, ex-Leeds striker Whelan explained why former Swansea City ace Hernandez has the pedigree to light up the Premier League if second-placed United succeed in their promotion bid.
“He can do things that no person can do at Leeds United, he’s always one step ahead and always has been but this season we’ve seen a rejuvenated player that has absolutely everything, ticking every single box for Leeds and keeping him fit is absolutely massive until the end of the season,” Whelan said.
“I love him, I really do, this season I’ve seen so many good things but I always knew he had it there. The way he just led the team, the amount of effort he puts into a game, some of the creative genius that comes from his touches, his range of passing – delicate passes – it’s great to watch.
“I used to play the game but sitting on the other side now as a fan, all you can do is applaud him sometimes for what he does with the ball. When you’ve got someone like that in your side, the rest of the team follow.
“Pablo’s going to want another shot in the Premier League, he’s one player that can do it.”
Hernandez, 34, is out of contract at Leeds in the summer of 2020 after signing a new two-year deal at the end of last season.
He has made 35 appearances for United this season, scoring 12 goals and supplying a further 12 assists, with the latest of those coming in Saturday’s win over Wednesday.
In other Leeds United news, the club are closing in on a JAWDROPPING £177million windfall after developments this week.