Noel Whelan has told Football Insider that he is stunned at Pablo Hernandez’s omission from the Championship team of the season following his latest Leeds United masterclass.
The United attacking midfielder was a notable absentee from the XI announced by the league last week despite playing a huge role in his side’s automatic promotion pursuit.
Hernandez scored twice as Leeds twice came from behind to beat Millwall last season and has scored 12 league goals in the most prolific campaign of his career as well as supplied 11 assists in the competition.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, our brilliant new columnist Whelan said he can’t believe Hernandez has missed out in the selection, which includes two of his teammates, Liam Cooper and Kalvin Phillips.
“It very much surprises me,” Whelan said. “The players that are in the Football League team are all very good players, but how can you look past someone with 12 league goals and 11 league assists? It’s quite incredible.
“Hernandez would make a difference to any team. He is like a fine wine, he is getting better with age. He is integral to everything Leeds do. If he ticks, we tick because he has that extra bit of quality on the ball.
“He is fit and strong, too. His second goal against Millwall was all about his intensity and desire to get into the box. It sets a brilliant example to the other Leeds players.”
Hernandez is in his third season at Elland Road after signing initially on loan in the summer of 2016 and turns 34 later this month.
The former Spain international has a contract that runs at Leeds until the summer of 2020.