Whispers are going around that Abel Hernandez, supposedly in advanced talks to join Leeds United, might instead be on the verge of throwing in his lot with a club many, including myself, see as a disgrace to football and a blot on the name of the game –Galatasaray. The tragic history between Leeds and the Turkish outfit needs no retelling here; suffice to say that any player who would even consider such a move should never sully the famous white shirt of Yorkshire’s number one football club.
The only comparable case is of a player who had previously moved on from Leeds, not in the most auspicious of circumstances, before eventually signing for the Istanbul side. This was Harry Kewell, who was actually in the United side on that infamous evening at the Ali Sami Yen, when, just a day after the murder of two Leeds fans, the sick animals in the home crowd chose to mock and disrespect our loss. That Kewell could choose to sign for such a club, with such fans, says all we need to know about the depths to which his character was capable of sinking. Kewell’s name has been mud around Leeds and its worldwide support ever since, and rightly so.
Hernandez may possibly be unaware of the friction between the clubs, that’s possible. Having no prior connection to Leeds, it may not signify with him anyway. But any player with a choice between United and the club from Turkey‘s foulest gutter must be aware that, if he chooses the latter, he will be thought of as no loss to Leeds. There are some gulfs that can’t be breached, and Leeds should never give the time of day to anybody with connections to that club. If he decides he’s off to Istanbul, we should not mourn him, we should simply look elsewhere.
Yes, Hernandez would be a steal on a free, despite his high wages. Yes, he promises goals, especially at Championship level, if he stays fit. But, if even the smallest part of his head or his heart is telling him “Go to Turkey” – then, good riddance, and we move on to targets with better taste and a greater sense of decency.
Of course, it may just be scaremongering of the most grotesquely tasteless kind by that section of the media – about 95% of it – which delights in that attitude where Leeds are concerned. And if the lad decides to come to Leeds, there’ll be a warm welcome for him from this blog. We’ll have to see what actually happens. But, if Hernandez makes this most despicable choice out of those available to him then, as far as I’m concerned, he’s nothing – and certainly no loss to Leeds United.