Leeds United took a major step to achieving automatic promotion to the Premier League last Saturday by defeating 3-2 Millwall at Elland Road, a result which saw them continue their impressive campaign under Marcelo Bielsa.
In contrast, Fulham’s brief return to the top flight was brought to an end last night following their 4-1 loss to Watford which confirmed their relegation to the Championship.
One of the Cottagers’ key players last season, Stefan Johansen, was loaned out by the club to West Bromwich Albion in the January transfer window but has failed to impress for the Baggies, leading to questions surrounding his future in the summer. According to Football Insider, Leeds are considering a swoop for the 28-year-old who has yet to agree a new contract at Fulham with his current deal set to expire at the end of the season.
Keeping this in mind, let’s compare Johansen with one of the Whites’ current midfield aces…
Despite playing a key role in helping Fulham achieve promotion last season via the play-offs, Johansen has experienced an awful campaign this year. After making just 12 appearances for the Cottagers in the Premier League, the Norway international was sent out on a short-term loan to West Brom where he has failed to make a lasting impression at the Hawthorns.
However, with the Baggies just six points adrift of the top two positions in the Championship, Johansen could still make a positive impact for the club in the final seven fixtures which may see them secure automatic promotion to the top-flight.
TT GRADE: C-
After experiencing a tough start to life at Leeds, Tyler Roberts has developed into one of the club’s most influential players in recent months. The Wales international has formed a fruitful partnership alongside Mateusz Klich in the heart of the Whites’ midfield having recently been converted by Bielsa from a striker and could play a defining role in the club’s dream of promotion in May.
With Leeds currently two points ahead of Sheffield United in the Championship, Roberts could become a hero overnight amongst the club’s supporters if he continues to demonstrate the form which has seen him start the previous 12 games for the Yorkshire-based outfit.
TT GRADE: B
With Stefan Johansen’s future up in the air at Fulham, Leeds should not take the risk on signing the midfielder, especially when you consider that they already have a player in the form of Tyler Roberts who has the potential to develop into a promising attacking midfielder.
Indeed, Bielsa’s side will have to bolster their squad in the summer if they do clinch promotion in May and so should look at players who are of a better calibre than the Norwegian.
Giving that Johansen has already failed to impress in the Premier League, it would be sensible for the Whites to steer clear of signing the midfielder, even if he is available on a free transfer.
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