Noel Whelan admits he was blown away by the impact of Leeds United maestro Pablo Hernandez in the Whites’ 5-0 win over Stoke City.
The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, called the 35-year-old a “game-changer” after coming on at half-time on Thursday.
The attacking midfielder scored one and set up another in 45 minutes as the Whites romped their way back to the top of the Championship table.
Whelan, who was in attendance at Elland Road on Thursday, admits he could not get enough of the Spaniard’s performance and insists he transforms Leeds when he plays.
Whelan told Football Insider: “The man is just a different level of class. When he steps on that fields it’s a different kind of animal that Leeds turn into.
“It’s an animal that destroys people. Someone with that intelligence, that creativity, that vision at brilliance, he’s a game-changer in himself. He brings the best out of everybody on that field.
“When they make those runs, they know the ball is coming – the quality for the goal, the way he set up Liam Cooper, he just dictates play – sometimes you can’t get close to players like that because they play one, two touch passing and you can’t defend that.”
Hernandez now has seven goals and seven assists under his belt this season, despite struggling with fitness and injuries throughout the campaign.
He is yet to start a match since the return of the Championship, although he has come off the bench in the last four games.
In other Leeds United news, Noel Whelan has told Football Insider club should use potential £18million cash injection to sign Ben White.
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