Pablo Hernández, Our Magical Talisman
27 Apr 2019 11:40am, by YorkshireSquare
Pablo Hernández Domínguez hails from Castellón de la Plana in the Valencian Country, Spain. And it is at Valencia that Pablo started his career. There is no doubt that Pablo is playing his best football for many years, 12 goals and 12 assists so far this season prove that. But you have to go back to around 2010 to find him at full tilt, taking on the world class revered superstars of Spanish football and beating them. Injuries started to impact him in his final Valencia years and he lost a bit of dynamism and pace but in his prime he was one of the crown jewels of The Mestalla.
That is no mean feat when consider during his time he shared the pitch with David Silva, David Villa, Juan Mata and Jordi Alba. And at the end of the 2009/2010 season Manchester City expressed an interest in David Silva and Pablo Hernandez and Liverpool also reportedly had an enquiry rejected for Hernandez by Valencia. Hernandez was one of the stars of that Valencia side that finished 3rd in La Liga and was every bit the star Mata and Silva were that year contributing 8 goals and 8 assists. Valencia finished 3rd in the following 2 seasons with Pablo contributing but injuries took their toll and his form dipped, Valencia had off field issues and Pablo was a bit of a scapegoat at times.
By the time he left for Swansea his star had waned somewhat and while he sparkled briefly at Swansea he never truly settled it seems. Despite that during the 2013/2014 season Pablo had the best minutes to assist ratio of any Premier League player, he also was the star during what at the time was described as "the best Swansea performance ever" vs West Bromwich Albion and shone brightly with two assists when Swansea beat Cardiff 3-0, the first of which a glorious through ball with the outside of his foot still spoken about by Swansea fans today. Pablo wasn't the player he has been in Spain when playing at Swansea but there were glimpses.
He was probably very unfortunate internationally as he came through during a golden time for Spanish football. He did get four caps for Spain and was part of the Confederations cup winning squad but had players like Iniesta, Silva, Mata, Cazorla, Fabregas, Navas and Pedro amongst others to compete with, however a call up to the provisional squad for the Euro 2008 tournament highlights the regard he was held in considering the talent they had available. In truth Pablo was a top-class talent in his prime who probably never quite reached his full potential but for a good few years he was a top performer for a top side and is still held in high regard by Valencia fans.
It’s a shame that we never got to see Pablo in his prime because while 34 year old Pablo is a top class Championship player, the 24 year old Pablo was a genuinely high quality La Liga star who would have made this league look like a pub league. Pablo is probably the best player to grace the Elland Road turf since we were relegated, prime Pablo would have possibly been one of the top players to grace the turf in decades. The success Marcelo Bielsa has brought to the team this season has been amazing but it is hard to believe any of it would have been possible without our magical talisman, Pablo Hernández.
Content by Cjay from the Pablo in his prime thread on our messageboards.