Leeds United’s transfer window came to a frustrating end as Swansea City pulled the plug on Daniel James’ proposed switch to Elland Road, but in the midst of the disappointment Tyler Roberts may well be quietly pleased by the setback.
Leeds signed Roberts from West Bromwich Albion for a fee of £2.6 million on January deadline day in 2018 under far more straightforward circumstances.
His arrival evoked feelings of scepticism and curiosity amongst the supporters, with limited knowledge on the teenager’s potential giving them reason to question how far he could rise at the club.
The arrival of Marcelo Bielsa in the summer has paved the way for Roberts to begin showcasing his talent, and it’s fair to say that sporadic moments of quality lend reason to believe that he could yet blossom into a key player.
Although he does not operate in the same position as James, the Swansea prodigy’s arrival would have given Bielsa an extra option on the left-wing, leaving Pablo Hernandez as his most likely option at number ten.
But Roberts’ recent showing against Rotherham hinted that he could yet push Hernandez out wide once more and occupy that role himself, and the fact Bielsa has already named him in the starting eleven for the season-defining clash against Norwich City speaks volumes about his growing prominence at the club.
It remains unclear as to how exactly Leeds will set-up, but Roberts’ glowing performance last time out suggests he should be in line to start behind Roofe in an attacking midfield role.
The game against Norwich is just one game, but in the context of the race for promotion it is absolutely massive.
A positive performance from Roberts could catapult his reputation at the club and prove to Bielsa that he is worthy of a more prominent role and, with James still at Swansea, he will be in a strong position to complete a full breakthrough at number ten with Hernandez being forced to operate out wide.
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