By Noel Whelan

11th Mar, 2021 | 5:00pm

Whelan hints there's more to Hernandez injury situation at Leeds than meets the eye

There is more to Pablo Hernandez’s recent injury than meets the eye and he won’t be a Leeds United player next season.

That is according to Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after the 35-year-old missed out on the matchday squad which faced West Ham on Monday evening.

Quoted in the Yorkshire Evening Post, Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa said: “Pablo in the last football session we had picked up a minor muscular injury. Although the injury was only a minor one it was better he didn’t play today as a precaution.”

Hernandez has become a terrace favourite at Elland Road and made 172 appearances since he joined the club in 2016.

But he has seen his game-time reduced in 2020-21 and has started just two matches for Leeds since they won promotion to the Premier League.

This is the four-time Spain international’s third knock this season and Whelan is beginning to suspect that not all is as it seems.

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“There have been too many little niggles with him this season,” he told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs.

“But then you look at it and ask, ‘is it really a niggle’? Every time Rodrigo’s fit or Tyler Roberts is playing, there have been too many niggles that have cropped up.

“I don’t expect Pablo to be there next season, I really don’t. I do think he’s gone way, way down the pecking order when probably he shouldn’t be down there.”

Leeds were beaten 2-0 in Hernandez’s absence on Monday, their fourth loss in five games.

The result leaves them in a respectable 11th place in the league with 11 matches remaining.

In other news, a top pundit insists that Raphinha’s agent will be inundated with calls despite Leeds United director Victor Orta’s recent claim.