Hernandez has been pushed down to Marcelo Bielsa’s third choice for the number 10 role, raising some eyebrows, and started on the bench in Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to Aston Villa.
Bielsa introduced the Spaniard for the final 20 minutes at Elland Road and Whelan thinks that he made more of an impact that Tyler Roberts, who he replaced.
Questions have been raised over why Bielsa is continuing to overlook Hernandez, especially with Rodrigo injured, but Whelan thinks the door must now surely be open for the Spaniard to return to the starting eleven.
He concedes though that the decision is down to Bielsa to make.
“Yes [the door is wide open for Hernandez]. It’s just down the manager to make that decision”, Whelan said post match on BBC Radio Leeds.
And he then added: “Your number 10 is creative, he’s the one that gets in between the lines, that turns, threads balls through, makes things happen in the final third and you are persistently involved.
“Looking, wanting the ball, getting it, starting things.”
Hernandez has so far clocked just 332 minutes of Premier League football for Leeds this season, but has still managed to provide two assists for his team-mates; Roberts has also provided two assists, but in 596 minutes.