Leeds talisman Pablo Hernandez has conceded that he is unsure where his future lies at Elland Road after United signed Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Helder Costa, as told to Leeds Live.
Hernandez featured in 41 of our Championship fixtures during the 2018/19 season, and laid on twelve goals and found the net twelve times himself. However, 25 of those outings – which returned 16 of the 24 goals he was involved in – were on the right-flank of Marcelo Bielsa’s midfield.
The £1.8million-rated Spaniard now faces competition for minutes in the position where he thrived the most with Costa making the switch from the Black Country to West Yorkshire, as the one-time Portugal international displayed the best version of himself in that role while in the second-tier.
Angola-born Costa made 36 appearances for Wolves as they dominated the Championship to secure a top-flight berth in the 2017/18 campaign, with 21 of his games for the Molineux outfit coming on the right-hand side of the field.
Our loan-to-buy signing’s performances on the left were only marginally worse, though, with a goal involvement of one every 158 minutes, compared to one every 154 minutes.
If Costa can replicate his output on the left for the Whites, then Bielsa could keep Hernandez on the right, but our Spanish sensation would not be opposed to a more regular return to the centre.
“It’s a good thing for us [to have Costa], Hernandez told Leeds Live.
“He’s a good attacker, a good winger, and he can be an important player for us this season.
“I don’t know [if he will take the right-wing position]. This is a manager’s decision. Obviously, I want to play, I want to try to give my 100 per cent again, [and] show my football.
“If the manager decides I play on the wing or in the middle [then okay]. I can play in both positions, and the most important thing for me is to play.”
Bielsa dabbled with Hernandez in both positions during our pre-season tour of Australia, deploying the 34-year-old centrally against Manchester United and then out wide against Western Sydney Wanderers at the weekend.