Leeds United supporters have been reasonably satisfied in the last few days after seeing their side maintain their unbeaten start to the new Championship season.
Marcelo Bielsa’s men went into their meeting with Millwall at the Den on Saturday having won four and drawn the other two of their first six league games, a run which propelled them to top spot prior to kick-off. And the Whites remain at the summit of the second tier after earning a 1-1 draw from their trip to the capital, with Jack Harrison’s 89th minute strike cancelling out Jed Wallace’s opener to preserve Leeds’ unbeaten start to the 2018/19 campaign.
As such, there have been many satisfied Leeds fans up and down the country in recent times, especially given their side were without several first teamers for the trip to the Den, not least Kemar Roofe and Pablo Hernandez.
And the former’s injury problems prompted Bielsa to start with 19-year-old Tyler Roberts upfront, and while the forward didn’t quite have the desired impact on his first Championship start for the Whites, he should take a leaf out of Roofe’s book to make the grade at Elland Road.
Ultimately, two-times Wales international Roberts made the move to Leeds during the summer after coming up through the ranks and beginning his senior career at West Brom, yet he mustered just two Carabao Cup appearances for Bielsa’s side prior to making his Championship bow at the Den on Saturday.
And while he showed glimpses of promise in his 68 minutes on the pitch at the weekend, he was guilty of missing a few good chances during that time – chances which, if taken, would likely have sealed all three points for the Yorkshire heavyweights.
Nonetheless, Leeds fans will remember that 25-year-old Roofe, scorer of four goals in four league games this term, also made a sluggish start to life at Elland Road in netting just three times in his first season back in 2016/17 – he wasn’t even close to the player he is now.
Yet a decent campaign last term in bagging 11 times in the league for Leeds has been followed by a mightily impressive start to this one, thus suggesting that Roofe has used the frustration of his first season at the club to his advantage to make him a much better player – one that now looks set to play a key part in Leeds’ push for promotion.
And Roberts must look at Roofe’s meteoric rise in the last few years and apply that to his own progression – at the age of 19, he has a bright future ahead of him, and playing regularly under an outstanding coach in Bielsa will make him better, even if the goals don’t come as freely as he, and indeed Leeds, would like.
Yes, he has only played one game, but there were many parallels between Roberts’ efforts on Saturday and Roofe’s exploits in his first season at Leeds, which is why the former must take a leaf out of the latter’s book to make the grade at the Yorkshire giants.
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