Kevin Phillips has claimed Pablo Hernandez gives Leeds United the X-factor to “surprise” and cut open opposition defences. 

The former West Brom and Sunderland striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, revealed he is a massive admirer of the Spanish attacking midfielder.

Hernandez has won consecutive Leeds player of the year awards and remains a fixture in the team even though he turns 35 in April.

Phillips is in no doubt that the former Spain international can provide the star quality that can be the difference between promotion glory and heartache.

Phillips told Football Insider: “He’s a good player, he’s a Bielsa player, his work rate’s excellent, his technical ability is excellent and he can score goals.

“Any side in any league wants players like that and I’ve enjoyed watching him over the years, he’s the one you want on the ball as he has tricks and can surprise teams. Everyone loves to see him play.

“From Leeds’ point of view, they need to keep him fit between now and the end of the season because again he could be the difference.”

Hernandez made his 20th Championship start of the season among 23 appearances in all competitions in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw against Brentford.

He has scored four goals and supplied four assists in the current campaign and, since arriving at Elland Road, the playmaker has registered 31 goals and 34 assists in 145 matches.

In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that the club are set to sell £3million star as Bielsa has lost faith in him.