Who is LUFC Signing Pablo Hernandez? Jakk Ogden August 2, 2016 Leeds United 3 Comments After much rumour and hearsay on Twitter and Leeds United forums, Pablo Hernandez has finally been revealed as United’s seventh summer signing. Hernandez, who joins Leeds an initial six-month loan with the view to a permanent deal, should give Leeds United fans cause for excitement. The 31-year old Spaniard became Garry Monk’s and Swansea City’s most expensive signing ever when he moved to Swansea for £5.5m in 2012 from Valencia FC, and he can operate on the wing or as an attacking midfielder. The club who we are loaning Hernandez from, Al-Arabi, signed Pablo Hernandez in the summer of 2014 from Swansea City for an undisclosed fee. He made 13 appearances for Al-Arabi in his first season, scoring 6 goals. His stay in Qatar was short-lived, however. Two clubs wanted Hernandez on loan in 2015 – one being Dubai-based Al-Nasr Sports Club, and the other being then-BBVA side Rayo Vallecano. Al-Nasr took him on loan at first, where he got a goal and an assist in his first game against Sharjah in the Arabian Gulf Cup final . Rayo Vallecano then took him on loan a few months later, marking the return of Hernandez to Spain. On loan to Rayo Vallecano, he scored three goals and made four assists. He was a mainstay in Rayo’s team, playing on the left or right wing. However, Rayo Vallecano were ultimately relegated to the Spanish second tier and unable to afford Hernandez any longer, Hernandez returned to Al-Arabi. What is the playing style of Pablo Hernandez? Pablo Hernandez is a speedy midfielder with an eye for goal. He is an excellent dribbler (here’s a video of his skills at Valencia) and he has a very good first touch. He is also creative with a high attacking work rate and he can pass the ball. However, given his age, it is thought that Hernandez will be utilised not on the wing (where Kemar Roofe and Stuart Dallas will start) but in a number 10 role by Garry Monk at Leeds United. This would make perfect sense. Hernandez is now 31 and he isn’t getting any faster, although he is still pacey. The energy he does have would be better utilised at the heart of our attack, directly behind Chris Wood and Marcus Antonsson. Is there anything we need to be concerned about? His thighs and hamstrings. For what it’s worth, Hernandez was relatively injury free during his younger years at Valencia, however at Swansea City he suffered a pre-season thigh problem and hamstring issues in the 2013/14 season. That thigh injury he experienced in pre-season came back during his first Premier League game of the season, putting him out for several weeks. That same thigh injury also surfaced earlier in 2012 during Swansea’s victory over West Bromwich Albion. The good news with regard to those injuries is that they were all relatively minor, with a recovery period not exceeding 2 months. However, if Hernandez was to get injured playing for Leeds, I’d bet on it being thigh-related. What do the FIFA stats say? Dear readers, FIFA is not a true representation of the real-world. If it was, every scout in the world would be out of a job! But okay, let’s go there… So first of all, this is the FIFA Pablo Hernandez you are looking for, not this one. Pablo Hernandez has an overall rating of 76 on FIFA with his position being CAM. He has 77 pace, 83 dribbling, 73 shooting, 45 defending, 73 passing and 54 physical stats. His prize asset on FIFA is his dribbling, where he has 84 agility, 80 balance, 81 ball control and 85 dribbling stats. If we are taking those statistics to the real world, what they mean is that we can expect Hernandez to glide past slower defenders and dribble his way past better defenders. We can also expect him to pick a pass and take some good free kicks. However, we can also expect him to tire very quickly and get beaten off the ball by stronger defenders. We can also expect him to lose headers and make some poor tackles. Take that information as you will (good signing on FIFA though!) Is Pablo Hernandez a good signing? I really do think so. I think he will set up his fair share of goals; and I also think he is the kind of player Leeds United have been crying out for since Jonny Howson. What say you, fellow Leeds United fans? Leave your comments below with your thoughts.