29, Nov, 2021

Pablo Hernandez Player Profile 18/19

Pablo Hernandez is the footballing equivalent of an artist, A creative genius waiting to play his next pinpoint pass like its the stroke of a brush. He was by far our most influential player in attack this season and Leeds would have been nowhere near the level they were without him. Now let’s dive into this detailed profile explaining how and why Pablo is so influential.

Hernandez mostly played on the right wing this season occasionally dropping into the centre of midfield. It was on this right flank that he was at his most dangerous picking up all 12 of his goals and getting 7 of his 12 assists from that position. Out wide he is capable of taking three, four even more players out of the game by a single stroke of his brush, or swing of his leg. This was shown by the fact half of all his assists came from a cross on the right wing. Even though Hernandez is positioned on the right wing his role meant that he had the freedom to drift inside if he needed to, A great example of this was when he drifted inside from the right against West Brom at home and scored “that goal”. Pablo Hernandez is tasked with being our main creative threat and many of our attacks went through him. As shown by the fact that Leeds United scored a total of 76 goals in the championship this season and Hernandez directly contributed to 24 of them, which is 31.58%, so nearly a third of all Leeds United’s championship goals came via Hernandez. This statistic stresses Hernandez’s importance more than words can and really emphasizes how much Leeds have relied upon him going forward.

Pablo “The Brain” Hernandez is the nickname aptly given by Salim Lamrani, Bielsa’s trusted translator. His elite understanding of the game is shown through his vision and positioning on the pitch. His vision is what allows him to be such an excellent passer of the ball, Pablo made the third most passes in the championship out of the entire Leeds squad and a third of them were made in the final third of the pitch which is expected. His passes, however, were clearly the most damaging to the opponent as he had a total of 122 chances created which was the most of any United player and he also had the most big chances created with 16, for reference that is nearly double Klich who had the 2nd most with 9. Hernandez also racked up a huge 122 through passes which is over double the next player which shows his head was always up and looking to move the ball up the pitch to start another attack. His passes were always the key to unlock the ten men behind the ball scenario Bielsa’s Leeds so often had to face this season. Pablo’s eye for the open man is extraordinary and the ability to get the ball to him is sometimes borderline spectacular.

He wasn’t just a creator this season though, his finishing was just as important to Leeds this season as he tallied an impressive 12 goals which meant he finished as our 2nd top goal scorer behind Kemar Roofe. The goals he scored came in two varieties essentially, A typical Bielsa low cross into the box or a typical Hernandez Screamer. He scored three impressive goals outside the box and they were all as good as the other, and one very impressive goal just inside the box. Although these types of goals show us the extraordinary talent Hernandez has in his locker I think the other goals tell us way more.

The highlighted zone in the image above is the area of the box Hernandez found himself in for 7 of his 12 goals and this is no coincidence. This is a showcase of his elite positioning and a complete understanding of the game. Each time the ball is brought to the byline by a teammate Pablo finds a little pocket of space in the “golden zone” and waits for, Klich in this example, to pick him out for an easy tap in. Out of the 12 goals Hernandez scored, an even more impressive 8 goals were scored within two touches of the ball. This is incredible and really demonstrates his ability to read the game, anticipate what will happen next and know exactly what he will do with the ball 5 touches before it comes to him. Pablo Hernandez is like a chess master who has his opposition in checkmate 10 moves before they realise, then by the time they realise what is happening they have already lost. Grandmaster Pablo.

Hernadez’s brilliance does not go unnoticed, He was voted both Leeds United’s Player of the year and Player’s player of the year. This shows how appreciated he is inside the club but the plaudits have not only come from within as Pablo was voted into the PFA’s Team of the season, Along with other Leeds players in Jansson and Cooper. This is quite an honour as it shows that the opposition respect and know your talent and ability. We all knew about Hernandez’s undoubted skill as he is a player with Champions League games under his belt but the intricacies of his brilliance are so often hard to notice so I hope this Profile of him helped to clarify how and why he is so, so good.

Feedback is much appreciated and I read all comments. A big thanks to @LUFCDATA as a some of the data used in this Player Profile was collected by him so go follow and check him out too.

Written by TheYoungPeacock, Thanks for reading

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