Pablo Hernandez admitted that this season had the potential to be the finest of his career after producing his best-ever tally of goals in European football.
Hernandez said promotion to the Premier League with Leeds United could eclipse his highlights at Valencia and Swansea City with United nine games away from ending a 15-year stretch in the EFL.
The club’s Spanish midfielder won a full cap for Spain during his time in La Liga and was part of the Swansea team who lifted the League Cup in 2013, City’s first major trophy.
Leeds harnessed Hernandez’s top-flight experience when they signed him from Qatari side Al-Arabi in 2016 and the 33-year-old has inspired a brilliant season under Marcelo Bielsa, scoring 10 times and providing 11 assists.
Hernandez hit a total of 14 goals during one campaign in Qatar but had never reached 10 with any of his previous European clubs.
He hit double figures with two in last night's 3-0 win over Reading, both converted with deadly finishes from long-range, and the result nudged Leeds closer to automatic promotion ahead of a huge clash with third-placed Sheffield United on Saturday.
Hernandez believes this season could rank as his best, saying: “Yes, of course. I know we have nine games in front of us still but we have a great chance to go to the Premier League.
“I don’t think too much about this now, only that I remember the feeling when I won the cup with Swansea. Now I hope I can live a great feeling at the end of this season too, with this club, this and city and these fans.”
Hernandez has been the creative spark in Bielsa’s line-up throughout the Argentinian’s reign and drew praise from United’s head coach for a match-winning performance at Reading.
The midfielder voiced satisfaction with his goal tally, which ranks him as the club’s second leading scorer.
“I scored 14 when I went to Qatar but in Europe, in big leagues, this is my best statistic,” Hernandez said.
“I’m happy with this statistic but it’s more important for me that I help the team win games. I’m happy because I scored two more goals and I had a chance to score another one but what’s more important for me is that these goals helped win three points.”