The Leeds United play-maker needs to return to the starting XI for the good of their campaign.
Kemar Roofe’s performance for Leeds United against Aston Villa earlier this month showed the former Oxford United player has finally settled at Elland Road and suggested he was about to go on a prolonged run of good form.
However, just a few days later against Brighton & Hove Albion the 23-year-old failed to live up to the hype, struggling against the high-flying Seagulls as Garry Monk’s side crashed to a 2-0 defeat.
While Roofe will have good and bad games as he continues to acclimatise to a higher level of football, the upcoming festive period means Leeds can do without inconsistency, knowing all too well the importance of remaining in the play-off places heading into 2017.
For that reason, the return of fellow summer signing Pablo Hernandez cannot come soon enough.
The loanee has missed Leeds’ last four league matches with a hamstring injury and against Brighton he was sorely missed, with his replacement Roofe failing to create sufficient chances for himself or others.
Leeds have vital matches against Reading, Brentford and Preston North End before the end of the month, as well as the reverse fixture against Villa, and with Roofe struggling for consistency they need the experienced Hernandez to ease the pressure.
With Monk seemingly overlooking Alex Mowatt, the loanee’s importance is even greater. After all, Chris Wood will only continue to score if the chances are created by those tasked with doing so.