Pablo Hernandez has told Spanish media that he only planned to join Leeds United for a year but instead, he stayed at Elland Road for five years – falling in love with this “incredible” club and helping us gain promotion in his fourth.

It has been two years since 38-year-old Hernandez left Leeds to join Spanish clubs Castellon, where he has since clocked up 50 appearances, scoring five goals. He played the most of his clubs at Leeds, managing 175 outings.

Indeed, it was his old Swansea teammate Garry Monk that convinced him to join Leeds in the summer of 2016, on loan. He signed permanently after becoming so enamoured with Leeds – and the rest is history, becoming an icon.

Hernandez was asked about his move to Leeds and his time at Elland Road. He says that he only ever planned to remain at Leeds for a year, in order to give himself the chance to return to the Premier League – or move to La Liga.

Leeds United v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League
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“Leeds called me. I decided to go there for thinking that I would not be there for a long time. My first thought: ‘Let’s see if I have a good year and it serves as a springboard to return to the Premier League or Spain,” Hernandez said.

“But I found myself with an incredible club, a club that I did not have imagined in my life that was so big, with such magnitude, not only England, but around the world. Incredible. I was able to play in the Premier League again.”

Pablo Hernandez planned to join Leeds for a year but fell in love

In the midst of a dark time for Leeds – relegation a serious threat, long-term future in jeopardy, the potential of a takeover incoming – Hernandez’s words come as a welcome joy. The way he describes Leeds are full of emotional.

A legend at Leeds, not just in the modern era but of all time. A player that gave Leeds fans utter delight. Perhaps, the Leeds players can give the supporters the same feeling on Tuesday night, when Leicester City come to town.

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