Noel Whelan is over the moon to see the “brilliant” Pablo Hernandez starting again despite Leeds United slipping to defeat against Leicester City.

The former Whites and Aberdeen striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, said that it was a “fantastic” sight to have the 35-year-old firing after the loss to Covid-19 of Rodrigo Moreno.

Club-record signing Rodrigo missed Monday night’s 4-1 loss as he self-isolates after coming into close contact with a person who subsequently tested positive for the virus.

 

Hernandez replaced the Spain international in the eleven, starting his first game since the opening day of this season.

Marcelo Bielsa confirmed in his post-match press conference that Rodrigo will be unavailable for the trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

When asked by Football Insider if Hernandez’s return was timely given the update, Whelan said:

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“It was fantastic to see Hernandez back because of the Rodrigo situation. It is great to have Pablo back.

“It did not quite work out last night but he showed that bit of brilliance that we so often talk about.

“If that shot in the second half was a couple of inches lower we are talking about a goal of the season contender.”

Hernandez has played some of the best football of his career in recent seasons and was integral to Leeds securing promotion last season.

In 161 matches for United, the former Spain international has scored 36 goals as well as supplied 39 assists.

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