Father time is undefeated, and he may have just scored his latest victory.
It’s sad to say it, but Pablo Hernandez hasn’t been anywhere near his best this season.
Things started out well enough for the Spaniard, scoring twice and assisting twice in the first five games of the campaign, but since then, good performances have been hard to come by.
Phil Hay stated last Saturday that it’s been a long time since we’ve seen a masterclass from Hernandez, and with the former Swansea man turning 35 in a couple of months, you have to wonder whether or not he has any truly outstanding performances left in him.
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The journalist is right – it’s been a while since the Spaniard has put in a performance to take our breath away. His average WhoScored rating over past seven games is 6.63, and that’s way down on his average from last season which sat at 7.27.
His new role in the centre seemingly doesn’t suit him, and with his career coming towards its twilight, it may be time to put him out to pasture.
However, that’s not possible.
Leeds made the bold decision to hand Hernandez a new contract back in November, meaning that he’ll stay at the club until at least 2022, when he’ll be 37 years old.
The Yorkshire club will undoubtedly want to be a Premier League outfit by then, and a 37-year-old Hernandez may have no place in the top flight, especially if his recent performances are indicative of his standard in his advancing years.
United should have seen the pitfalls of offering a 34-year-old a two-and-a-half-year deal coming a mile off, but they may now live to regret their poor long-term planning.
Capology state that Hernandez was on £19,000 a week at the start of the season, and after winning back to back Player of the Year awards, it’s unlikely that this new deal will have included a significant pay cut.
The Yorkshire club could truly live to regret giving Hernandez this new deal in years to come.