English football is rapidly being defined by the free-flowing managerial philosophies which have been championed by some of the Premier League’s top managers and, of course, Marcelo Bielsa.
Bielsa’s arrival at Elland Road in the summer has been one of the most defining moments of the Championship season so far for more reasons than one. Spygate has unfortunately come to dominate much of the narrative in recent weeks, but that should not cloud what has been an intriguing campaign on the field of play.
The Argentine has transformed individual careers with his relentless fitness regime, style of play and emphasis on the promotion of youth.
One major beneficiary of his arrival has been Tyler Roberts, who arrived at Leeds from West Bromwich Albion in January 2018.
The 20-year-old is a centre-forward by trade but Bielsa has trusted him to operate in a No.10 role on a handful of occasions this season – a position which he is clearly comfortable in.
Roberts has offered so much more than just another option to cover for injured or suspended talents who are more naturally suited to the role, and his success suggests that he fits Marcus Rashford’s profile of a modern-day striker.
Much has been made of the Manchester United attacker’s position under both Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but he moved to suggest that now strikers need to show fluidity and versatility after the Red Devils’ 1-0 victory over Leicester City at the start of the month, as per Sky Sports.
“I don’t think anyone grows up wanting to be just a striker nowadays, the game has changed and you want to be an all-round forward – to play on the left, right, number 10.”
As Rashford has alluded to, those strikers who refuse to operate in a handful of attacking positions will be left behind as the game continues to develop.
Roberts has already showcased a level of technical quality which will allow him to play in attacking midfield, whether it be through the middle or out wide, and that versatility will hold him in good stead to blossom into a Premier League standard forward.
Bielsa is the Welshman’s most integral figure in his development at this moment in time, but he should use Rashford’s comments as a blueprint to fulfill his potential under the Argentine’s watchful eye.