PABLO HERNANDEZ admits he is gaining valuable experience from Marcelo Bielsa with a view to a coaching career – but is still improving as a player at 33 years of age.
Hernandez is the elder statesman among United’s youthful squad with the Spaniard turning 34 next April and admitting he is planning on turning his attentions to coaching in the long term.
The creative attacking midfielder has featured under several high profile managers during a career which has seen him capped twice for Spain as well as having the likes of Valencia on his CV.
Arsenal boss Unai Emery had just taken over at Valencia when Hernandez re-signed for the Spanish giants in July 2008 with Rafa Benitez, Claudio Ranieri and Quique Sanchez Flores among those in charge in Hernandez's early days at the Mestalla.
After four years under Emery, Hernandez also trained under Mauricio Pellegrino at Valencia and then more recently Michael Laudrup at Swansea.
Internationally, Luis Aragones initially called Hernandez into his 32-man provisional squad for UEFA Euro 2008 and while Hernandez did not make the final cut, the midfielder gained two caps for Spain the following summer under Vicente Del Bosque.
With half an eye on a coaching career, Hernandez says he is now relishing working under Bielsa, who has managed both the Argentina and Chile national sides as well as Newell’s Old Boys, Espanyol, Athletic Bilbao, Marseille, Lazio and Lille.
It is the kind of experience that could prove invaluable to a future coach, although Hernandez still “feels young” as a player and feels he is still improving out on the pitch.
Asked if he was eventually looking to go into coaching and if this season would stand him in good stead, Hernandez said: “Of course. That is my idea and I have learned a lot this year with Marcelo.
“In my career I have had a lot of managers and I always try to take the good things from each one. I am 33 – 34 next year – and I always say the same, I know I have a lot of experience but I can improve and I can learn every year.”