Get rid: Leeds favourite Jansson lauded as "special" is surely finished at Elland Road – opinion
Leeds United have taken to the Premier League like a duck to water, they belong amongst the big boys and that much was clear from their season-opener at Anfield against Liverpool.
The Whites were perhaps unlucky to come away in a narrow defeat. That display left Jurgen Klopp in awe, he said after the match: “What a game, what an opponent, what a performance from both teams.”
That was the rest of the league’s one warning shot.
And whilst they may only sit in 12th place, they have indeed grasped the top-flight by storm.
After two poor performances against Leicester City and Crystal Palace, Marcelo Bielsa’s men have bounced back with a pair of frightening displays.
United picked up four points from Europe-chasing duo Arsenal and Everton, and despite scoring just one goal, the Yorkshire giants amounted a whopping 48 shots across both fixtures.
The Championship-winners are more than holding their own in the big time, so much so that they have created more ‘big chances’ than Pep Guardiola’s City and the lethal-looking attack at Frank Lampard’s disposal; seen in the following table as per Phil Hay at The Athletic:
Leeds have done this largely without the influence of Pablo Hernandez too, especially over their last three outings as he’s not even been named in their matchday squad.
That means they’ve created those 48 shots at goal without a major creative influence, so perhaps this is a signal of things to come for the 35-year-old Spaniard.
He was first dropped for the Palace game and Bielsa hinted it was down to team selection. He told West Yorkshire Sport post-game: “The decision may seem strange but I choose the 18 players who I feel are most apt for the game.”
It has since been revealed that he’s been absent with a muscle injury, but in all honesty, he may not be needed anymore.
Hernandez, on his day, can produce game-winning class. We saw that frequently during the title run-in – six of his nine goals came in the second half of the season, as did five of nine assists, per Transfermarkt.
Last week, former Leeds defender Pontus Jansson told Sky Sports’ EFL podcast that his old teammate was “something special” as he put him alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the best players he’s played with.
But we’re just not seeing that in the Premier League anymore, Hernandez hasn’t provided any goals or assists, and is averaging a measley 0.3 key passes per game, via WhoScored.
By comparison, Jack Harrison (2.6), Mateusz Klich (1.8), Kalvin Phillips (1.7) and summer signing Rodrigo (1.1) have all been more creative.
Time is running out for the long-serving Garry Monk signing. This could well be the beginning of the end for the Elland Road favourite, maybe they ought to get rid entirely.
The post Pablo Hernandez surely running out of time over his Leeds career first appeared on FootballFanCast.com.
Source: Football – Football Fan Cast