Victor Orta cannot afford to let Pablo Hernandez leave Leeds

Andrea Radrizzani, Owner of Leeds United (L) looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bristol City and Leeds United at Ashton Gate on October 21, 2017 in Bristol, England.

Pablo Hernandez is out of contract at Leeds United during the summer, but the fans want him to stay.

Andrea Radrizzani, Owner of Leeds United (L) looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bristol City and Leeds United at Ashton Gate on October 21, 2017 in Bristol, England.

With Leeds' season now looking set to fizzle out in the same manner that it has done almost every year since their return to the Championship, Victor Orta is facing a massive summer as he tries to get the Elland Road faithful back on side.

After an incredible start to the season, it has become abundantly clear that the Whites do not have the quality or depth to compete with the very best in the division over 46 games, and much of the blame has been placed at Orta's door.

Paul Heckingbottom Leeds manager gestures during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Leeds United at iPro Stadium on February 21, 2018 in Derby, England.

The Whites director of football's recruitment policy has seemingly led to some questionable decisions in the market, and now Paul Heckingbottom's men are looking set to register the kind of uninspiring, mid-table finish that became a formality before last season.

Orta can turn things around at Leeds if the club learn from the apparent errors this season, but in the short-term, the former Middlesbrough man cannot expect the fans to show anymore patience if he does not address an issue that is already a major talking point with the end of the season nine games away.

Pablo Hernandez's contract expires at the end of the season, as reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, and after his latest performance against Reading, the club surely have little reason to deny the Spaniard a fresh deal.

Leeds United's Spanish midfielder Pablo Hernandez celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the English League Cup fourth round football match between Leicester City and Leeds United at...

The fans have previously spoken of their desire to see Hernandez handed a new contract, and he vindicated their faith by scoring a wonderful goal in Leeds' draw with the Royals at the weekend. 

With few players in Heckingbottom's squad performing at their best right now, there can surely be no harm in keeping Hernandez around when he is clearly a positive influence amongst the team - having worn the captain's armband on a couple of occasions - and can still produce moments of brilliance on the pitch as he did at the weekend.

If Leeds decide to let him go - he has previously spoken of his desire to stay - Orta will pile the pressure on himself to make sure that they pull off something special during the summer to appease the fans. 

Based on the recruitment so far, fans would be forgiven for fearing what they may end up with if Orta decides that the club needs to replace Hernandez at the end of the season.

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