This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking to Football Insider, Noel Whelan has offered his thoughts on the future of Kemar Roofe, suggesting that Andrea Radrizzani will be the one to blame if he leaves.
Roofe’s future has been in doubt during the transfer window with the player’s contract expiring next summer.
The forward reportedly began talks with the club over new terms back in June but it doesn’t appear as though anything has materialised since.
And as such, he’s been attracting the interest of the Premier League. Per Sky Sports, both Crystal Palace and Brighton want to add him to their squads this summer.
However, with the possibility of him walking out looming, Whelan has laid the blame at Radrizzani’s door for not tying him down. He told Football Insider:
“Leeds have let themselves unprotected with Roofe. The owner has to take the blame for this. Whoever deals with contracts on the board has to take responsibility.
“Roofe is probably worth £8-10m, but because he has only a year left on his contract, his value has dropped to £5m. That’s absolutely nothing these days.”
It’s safe to say that allowing Roofe’s contract to run down until its final year was a huge error.
After all, this is a forward who scored 15 times in the Championship last season and on that evidence, it’s likely his market value would have increased.
Yet, as the striker enters the final year of his deal he’s now in danger of leaving on the cheap, or even for free next summer.
Potentially cashing in on the player for around £10m, as Whelan states, would have been extremely healthy for the club, particularly after concerns regarding financial fair play were raised following Pontus Jansson’s sale.
But the fact of the matter is that it shouldn’t have come down to this.
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Leeds knew when Roofe’s contract was expiring and if they’d tried to nail him down when both he and the club were in excellent form in the first half of the season, arguably it would have been easier to get him to agree.
Therefore, if the Whites had opened negotiations at that point and got the 26-year-old to sign, they’d now not be at risk of losing money.