Leeds United’s top-half finish in the Premier League last season was littered with incredible success stories throughout the playing squad.
The likes of Stuart Dallas, Luke Ayling, Kalvin Phillips and Patrick Bamford, among others, caught the eye after making the step up from the Championship to the Premier League.
He was signed from West Brom as a teenager in January 2018 and, at the time of the move, Transfermarkt valued him at a measly £225k. He joined after scoring five goals in 17 League One games on loan at Walsall, with the Baggies deciding to cash in on him in the January transfer window.
The Welshman has been a dream signing for the club, certainly from a financial point of view, as he has progressed superbly over the years. Roberts managed seven goals and seven assists in his first two full seasons in the Championship, proving to be a reliable option in a squad that’s bereft of much depth. Of course, that second campaign ended in promotion to the Premier League too.
“He’s a very very talented boy. And I mean a very talented boy. He has got everything.
“I was always concerned whether he had the mental toughness to really push on. At Leeds, if you haven’t got that Bielsa isn’t going to play you.
“The kid has pushed on. It’s great to see all the young players you’ve worked with, especially the ones you had a little bit of doubt with, come through and he’s one of them. He’s got all the tools, like I said, it was just that mental strength. People say, ‘Does he want it enough, is he prepared to push it’, but over the past couple of years it looks like he’s turned a corner.”
Roberts has been able to use that work ethic to improve himself throughout his time at Elland Road. He has clearly taken to working with Bielsa with ease and made sure that he soaks up as much information from the Argentine as possible, with his soaring valuation an indication of this.
At the time of writing (24/10/21), Transfermarkt value the 22-year-old at £5.40m. This is a sensational 2300% increase in under four years at the club, with just over three years working with Bielsa at Elland Road.
The club snapped him up at a young age and have been able to develop him into a Premier League player, which is why it has proven to be a dream deal. He was a regular appearance maker in the top-flight and played a part in a title-winning season in the Championship, showing that he has had an impact on the pitch whilst also growing in value over the years.
It’s safe to say that if he does depart Elland Road, as has been rumoured, they’ll receive a lot more than the £2.5m they paid to drag him away from the Hawthorns. Based on that alone, it was a great piece of business by the Yorkshire club.