Pablo Hernandez contributed nine goals and nine assists to Leeds United’s promotion season (Transfermarkt).
Yet, at 35, some may fear he could struggle to have the impact on the Whites now they’re back in the top flight.
We’ve got three reasons he can still be a major player in the Premier League under Marcelo Bielsa…
He’s been there and done it
Hernandez has 57 career appearances in the Premier League, from which he contributed a relatively impressive 15 assists at Swansea (Transfermarkt).
He is one of very few Leeds players – including Helder Costa and Patrick Bamford – to have English top flight experience.
The relevance of ‘knowing’ the top flight can be overstated – Sheffield United are evidence of that – but it can help.
Hernandez knows he can cut the mustard in the Premier League and he’ll be able to pass onto his team-mates what is required.
Sometimes a change of pace is needed
Leeds are sensational when they’re flying forward at pace, but there will be times in the Premier League when a change of speed is needed.
Hernandez is by far the best player they have at getting his foot on the ball, picking passes and playing the game at his tempo.
That balance will be crucial in the top flight. There will be times when blood and thunder is needed, and others when Hernandez’s more cerebral approach will be required.
Older heads did the business last season
The relentless pace of the Premier League may have convinced many it’s a young man’s game, but there were enough old heads doing the business last time around.
James Milner, Gary Cahill and Fernandinho are just three examples of players around Hernandez’s age who made vital contributions to their respective clubs last season.
Joao Moutinho is just two years younger than Hernandez but dictates midfield most weeks for Wolves. The Portuguese’s approach should inspire Hernandez, even if he doesn’t start every single game.
There’s no need to fret over Hernandez’s potential contribution next season.