Leeds United have re-established themselves at the summit of the Championship table following their 2-1 victory over Wigan at the DW Stadium, with Kemar Roofe continuing his excellent goal scoring record by adding his 7th of the season.
Roofe won’t score many easier goals than his winner against the Latics on Sunday afternoon, but neither he nor Marcelo Bielsa will care too much about that now the Whites are sitting pretty in top spot.
Leeds have struggled to emulate their early season form in recent weeks during a period of time in which Bielsa has been forced to embrace the more pragmatic aspects of his managerial style following a succession of unfortunate injuries.
That the sting in Leeds’ promotion bid has remained piercing during a period of time in which the likes of Pablo Hernadnez, Kemar Roofe and Barry Douglas have all been sidelined is a testament to the strength in depth at Bielsa’s disposal – and his expansive philosophy of course.
One man who has been a surprise package in light of Leeds’ injury crisis has been Tyler Roberts – a player who was signed by the club in January for a fee of just £2.6 million.
It was a deal which raised plenty of eyebrows amongst a fan base who knew little about the teenager when he arrived at Elland Road, but he has justified Victor Orta’s decision to sanction a deal with his performances this season.
Following Roofe’s unfortunately timed injury, Bielsa handed Roberts a string of games in the first-team and, although he certainly demonstrated a naivety which you would expect from a player of his relative experience, he showed enough sporadic bursts of quality to suggest he can become a key player this season.
With 3 goals from 7 appearances, including a a fabulous lob against Preston and a thumping long-range effort against Hull City, Roberts showcased a natural goal scoring talent which Bielsa would be wise to exploit as the season develops.
At just 19-years-of-age the best is yet to come from Roberts, but he already possesses a level of quality at this level which could make all the difference in Leeds’ bid to end their top-flight exile.
Roberts may well be forced to play the role of Roofe’s understudy for the most part, but he could be a valuable weapon from the bench when Leeds are struggling for potency in the final-third.
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