The potent form of Kemar Roofe has been one of the most pivotal components of Leeds’ charge for promotion so far this season, and with less than two years remaining on his current contract it’s about time he was offered a lucrative new deal.
Roofe’s importance at the spearhead of the Whites’ attack cannot be expressed highly enough. In the nine fixtures in which Marcelo Bielsa has started him at centre-forward, Leeds have won six and drawn three, scoring 19 goals in the process.
Although he has predominantly operated out wide since he joined the club from Oxford United in 2016, there is no question that Roofe is at his most influential when deployed through the middle.
If Leeds are to end their top-flight exile this season they will need Roofe to remain fit and firing for the duration. With the January transfer window looming and a host of Premier League club’s enduring notable dry spells in front of goal, there is no better time for Andrea Radrizzani to open contract negotiations over an improved deal for the firm fan-favourite, and that’s exactly what they are planning on doing according to Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Phil Hay.
Hay has claimed that Roofe, ‘heads the list of priorities at Elland Road,’ in regards to a whole host of potential new deals, but the reliable journalist made another admission which suggests that Radrizzani is playing a risky game with the future of Leeds’ star player.
‘Some close to Roofe doubt whether Leeds will pitch their offer at the level he would want but United believe they can satisfy a player who is said to be settled at Elland Road.’
Naturally, Radrizanni has to balance both the financial interests of the club alongside Roofe’s demands, but the fact doubts exist over his willingness to pitch a contract offer at Roofe’s desired level is hugely concerning for the club.
First and foremost, Roofe is adored throughout the Leeds fan base and his departure would deflate the growing sense of optimism just as it is beginning to reach peak levels. But putting sentiment to one side, Roofe is simply fundamental to Leeds’ promotion bid, and if they are successful in reaching the top-flight the financial windfall would completely transform the club.
With Leeds establishing themselves as a genuine favourite for promotion, Radrizanni simply must keep things simple behind the scenes and satisfy Roofe’s demands without risking disruptive media speculation from emerging in the January transfer window.
Naturally, it’s good news to hear that Leeds are setting wheels in motion with regards to Roofe’s new deal, but it’s equally concerning for supporters to hear that Radrizanni is showing signs of naivety about the extent of Roofe’s loyalty to the club in a modern era which is heavily dictated by the pulling power of higher wages and Premier League football.
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