It’s been a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ for this young man.
When I’ve been talking about Leeds this season and my aspirations for them, I’ve sort of left him to one side when talking about Leeds’ attacking options. However now that he’s come back from injury, and slowly getting some minutes under his belt, I feel now is the right time to talk about him and where he stands going forward. In case you haven’t worked out who I’m on about yet, I’m talking about young Tyler Roberts.
Having been ruled out of action for the whole summer with knee surgery, the 20-year-old Welshman came on as a half-time substitute yesterday in the U23s draw away at Crystal Palace. Now whilst I’m not saying that he should immediately take Patrick Bamford’s, or god forbid Eddie Nketiah’s place in the starting line-up, I do find myself wondering if maybe he offers a solution to the problem we’ve been talking about. Is he the answer to Leeds’ problem of failing to convert their chances?
Whilst Roberts is a bit of a utility man, someone who can play anywhere across the front line, last year he was predominantly used as a center-forward. All of his goals from last year came when he was playing there, whilst half of his assists came when he was playing as an attacking midfielder. So it’s clear to see that he is most useful when being played through the middle, either upfront or in midfield.
Whilst I’m not saying he is the definitive answer to the problem, I think it’s at least worth us giving him a go when he’s fully recovered. Having played 31 times last season, he’s not exactly a novice to Bielsa’s system either so we don’t have to worry about him bedding in. The more men we get in the box that are capable of finding the net, the more likely we are to convert the chances that have left us squandering points.
What do you think? Do you think that Tyler Roberts has a part to play in the first team straight away? If so where? Or do you think he’s better utilised as a substitute or as a rotation player?