Leeds United hero Pablo Hernández makes Premier League prediction after up-and-down form under Marcelo Bielsa

Former Leeds United star Pablo Hernández claims the Whites will not be relegated from the Premier League this season despite a poor start.

Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 5:43 pm

Over five seasons at Elland Road, the Spaniard played a crucial role in Leeds’ quest for Premier League status.

After making 24 goal contributions in the Whites’ failed promotion bid of 2018/2019, Hernández produced a further 18 goals and assists in Leeds’ Championship-winning season of 2019/2020.

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Perhaps the most memorable of these was Hernández’s last-minute winner against Swansea City in July 2020, an act which all-but-confirmed the Whites’ return to the top flight after sixteen years in exile.

Last season the midfielder, affectionately known as ‘El Mago’, played a more minor part in newly-promoted Leeds’ impressive inaugural campaign, featuring for an average of 10 minutes per game before the 36-year-old opted to return to his boyhood club Castellón in July 2021.

Following an emotional farewell during his last appearance for Leeds at Elland Road in July, Hernández has remained in the thoughts of Whites fans, with many making the voyage to watch him play on the eastern coast of Spain.

Since his departure in the summer, Leeds have made an uneasy start to their second season in the Premier League, after waiting seven games for their first league win left them dangerously close to the relegation zone.

Pablo Hernández's final appearance for Leeds United. Pic: Bruce Rollinson.

But Hernández has no doubt that Marcelo Bielsa’s men can thrive in the division.

“In the Premier League, the first season was very good,” Hernández said.

“Now this season Leeds has not started very well in terms of results, but I think they will have no problems staying in the Premier and continuing to grow as a club.

“It is a club that has to be with the biggest teams in England because of what it represents socially and because of the fans that Leeds has.

Pablo Hernández celebrates scoring for Leeds United against Swansea. Pic: Nick Potts.

“Surely, in time they will fight higher on the table.”

Speaking to Spanish media outlet La Media Inglesa, Hernández explained the style and impact of Whites head coach Bielsa.

“The numbers are there with him. He made a very recognizable team, practising a very attractive, very offensive football,” Hernández said, as translated by Juani Jimena.

“I think that no rival likes to play against us. We generated a lot of pressure, we didn’t stop running, and everyone identified that idea with Bielsa.

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa. Pic: Bruce Rollinson.

“He has made a name for himself in England, and especially with the Leeds fans.

“They are very grateful to him for all that he has done so far.”

But Bielsa’s brilliance was known to Hernández, who was pleased when the Argentine took on the challenge of promoting the Whites in June 2018.

“Yes, the truth is that I was very surprised by his arrival in Leeds because we all know who Bielsa was,” Hernández said.

“Maybe in England they didn’t know him that much but I knew about his career. Both in the national teams like Argentina and Child, as his work in clubs, especially in Spain with Bilbao, I faced him when I played in Valencia.

“I knew what Bielsa means in the world of football and it was a nice surprise that he decided to accept the challenge of managing in the English second division with Leeds and being part of this project."

Pabloe Hernández bids farewell to Leeds United fans. Pic: Richard Sellers.

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