Sky Sports pundit Danny Mills has lauded Leeds United ace Tyler Roberts as the alternative attacking option that Marcelo Bielsa can turn to whenever Patrick Bamford struggles in front of the net.
Mills feels Roberts staked his claim to being the boss’ “plan-B” after the 5 ft 10 ace struck a brace from the bench during a late cameo appearance at Hull City last weekend, and moved his name above January arrivals Jean-Kevin Augustin and Ian Poveda as the man to take up the slack whenever Bamford is having an off day.
Bamford struggled more against the Tigers than he has in most games this season, given the KCOM Stadium affair was only the second time this season that the 26-year-old has failed to register a single shot during a Championship fixture – the other being October’s 2-1 defeat at Millwall.
Mills doubts that Roberts’ late goals and Bamford last finding the net on January 28 will be enough to see Bielsa change his starting striker this weekend against Huddersfield, though.
“Bielsa will not waver [in his attacking plans],” Mills told Football Insider. “He is forthright and stubborn and knows his own mind. What it has shown is there is an option off the bench.
Who should start at striker vs Huddersfield this weekend?
“Clearly Bielsa trusts Roberts and maybe that is the difference between him and the likes of Poveda and Augustin. He is still not 100% sure what they are going to do when they get their opportunity [but] with Roberts, he knows [what he can offer] and he is prepared to give him a chance at least.
“To come off the bench and get a couple of goals, that is what Leeds need. Something different. He has always played in a slightly deeper role. He is big, strong and powerful and he has shown he can score goals. If Leeds need a plan-B, they can use him.”
Roberts himself would seem to believe that Bamford will be the one starting at home to Huddersfield this weekend, having lauded his teammate for the quality he brings to the team outside of his goals.
But Roberts stepping up to contribute to the scoring, on a day that Pablo Hernandez and Luke Ayling also fired home, will be a huge boost for promotion hopes, having struggled to convert our myriad of chances in recent weeks.
The Hull win was the first time since beating Millwall on January 28 that we have scored twice or more in a league match, while our string of 1-0 wins over Bristol City, Reading and Middlesbrough before facing the Tigers saw Bielsa’s men attempt 20, 19 and 12 shots respectively.
In other Leeds United news, a player frozen out by Bielsa this year is now expected to the club in the summer transfer window.