Despite losing 4-1 for the second game running, much of the talk following Leeds United’s defeat before the international break centred about Pablo Hernandez’s absence from the match day squad.
Hernandez had started the previous game against Leicester City. However, he reacted badly after being taken off during the second-half.
And it appeared worrying when Marcelo Bielsa confirmed after the loss at Crystal Palace that the 35-year-old was fit, but not selected (via Leeds Live).
The comments prompted some fans to express concern for Hernandez’s future at the club. For some, the situation evoked memories from the latter stages of Pontus Jansson’s time at Elland Road.
In fairness to Hernandez, he issued an apology for his actions on Instagram during the international break. And Leeds fans will be hoping that any potential problems with Bielsa can be put to bed – if they needed to be in the first place.
But the supporters would be forgiven for paying extra attention to the lineup Bielsa selects for Sunday’s clash with Arsenal.
Should Rodrigo be available, Hernandez is surely unlikely to start anyway. But perhaps, some may deem it to be an ominous sign if he is missing from the squad altogether.
Bielsa would make statement by naming Hernandez in next Leeds squad
The international break is a nuisance for most. But it has provided an opportunity for more of the dust to settle.
If Hernandez therefore, remains out of the fold – and is, once again, not injured – it will alarm many. It may be jumping to conclusions. But it may perhaps hint that something remains not quite right between Bielsa and the attacking midfielder.
But if he is named on the bench, that has to be a good sign for Leeds. Hernandez – who earns £19,000-a-week, according to Spotrac – showed glimpses against Leicester that suggest that he still has a lot to offer.
And a return to the match day squad this weekend would hint that Bielsa has no intention of shutting the door on his Leeds career anytime soon.
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