Leeds United have confirmed their first signing of the January transfer window in the form of attacking midfielder Pablo Hernandez, who has extended his short-term move to Elland Road. The former Spain international has scored three goals in 15 appearances for the Whites this season, and will now stay on in an effort to inspire the club back into the Premier League.
Hernandez has agreed a second six-month deal, with the West Yorkshire club having the option to extend the agreement by 12 months at the end of the season. The 31-year-old made his name at Valencia, where he claimed a Copa del Rey runners-up medal, before a move to Swansea City 2012 led to him winning the League Cup – the only major honour of his career.
Manager Garry Monk regards the veteran attacker as a key member of his squad and previously admitted he was "very confident" of securing a permanent deal for the player. "I am very happy to sign a permanent deal with Leeds United," said Hernandez, according to the Yorkshire Evening Post. "I knew I initially came here on loan for six months, but in my mind I always wanted to stay here for longer.
"Leeds gave me the chance to return to English football and I am very happy because I really enjoy the football here in England. When I first came here a lot of people told me Leeds United are a big club, but I already knew this from my time at Valencia, when the two sides met in the Champions League semi-final.
"Leeds have unbelievable fans, an unbelievable stadium, a really good training ground and very professional staff and I really like all of this. The fans believe in this team and that is important for the confidence of the team, but we need to stay calm as it is still early in the season."
The deal is the second completed by Leeds in the transfer window, with the club allowing Luke Murphy to leave for Championship rivals Burton Albion on loan until the end of the season. Youngster Alex Purver has returned from a six-month spell Guiseley, where he played alongside Billy Whitehouse.