Pablo Hernandez backing former Leeds United teammate to produce at Euros if called upon

Pablo Hernandez has backed Leeds United record signing Rodrigo to perform for Spain if called upon.

Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 1:56 pm
Leeds United club record signing in action for Spain. Pic: Getty

Luis Enrique's preparations for this summer's delayed European Championships have been hit with the news of two positive Covid tests in the Spain camp.

Captain and Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets contracted the virus last weekend before Whites defender Diego Llorente returned a positive result on Tuesday.

Spain's Euros squad were put into self-isolation immediately and a number of players who missed out on selection initially were required to set up a parallel training bubble in case of emergency.

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The Under-21s side were also needed to complete their final warm-up game requirements against Lithuania on Tuesday.

Leeds forward Rodrigo is part of the second group that is now training away from the main squad, though no new additions have been made to Enrique's original line-up ahead of the competition as yet.

Hernandez - who earned four caps for his country over 11 years ago - has backed his former teammate to step up should he be brought into the fold.

"I did not expect it, it has been a surprise for everyone," Hernandez told Radio Marca of the Spanish national team's current predicament.

"I suppose that Luis Enrique will want to have more players in case there are other positive ones.

"He [Rodrigo] has played the majority of games as a [more] defensive midfielder with [Marcelo] Bielsa and it has been where he has enjoyed the most.

"In addition to being a great player, he can play on the wing as well. In any of those positions he can do well. He has shown also that he can score and could be important for the National Team."

Hernandez departed Elland Road this summer after becoming a club legend during his five-year stay in West Yorkshire.

The 36-year-old helped seal a return to the Premier League after a 16-year absence last summer and waved an emotional farewell to Leeds on the final day of the top flight campaign.

Asked about his future and potential next move, he said: "My last game with Leeds was like a farewell. Next season I will look for other interesting options."

Hernandez has been linked with a move back to boyhood club Castellon - a team he is a shareholder of - while Cartagena in the Spanish Segunda Division are also reported to be an option.