Given that he was linked with a move away from Leeds United in the January transfer window, it’s been a real turnaround in fortunes for Tyler Roberts in terms of his position at Elland Road.
The Wales international appeared to be heading for the exit door a couple of months ago, with reports suggesting that clubs from the Championship were looking to sign him.
Now, he’s become a permanent fixture in Marcelo Bielsa’s starting eleven over recent weeks, especially with summer signing Rodrigo struggling with injury, and is likely to be in contention to start against Liverpool in the Premier League on Monday night.
But while he had a couple of impressive cameos against Arsenal and Southampton back in mid-February, picking up a couple of assists, he’s been way off the pace in Leeds’ last six Premier League games – no goals or assists whatsoever.
Former Leeds Noel Whelan simply insisted that the £4.5m-rated forward just may not be cut out for the top-flight, saying: “Is he good enough? In my opinion he isn’t. I would love him to go out there and prove me wrong because I want everyone to succeed. I need him to show me more. He needs to show more fight and desire. I just do not see that.
“It makes me wonder whether he would be better off leaving and going somewhere where he would get regular game time. I do not think we have seen the real Tyler Roberts yet. I find it very hard to see a career for him at Leeds United on the current evidence.”
Whelan himself has even called on Bielsa to drop Roberts from the starting line-up before the game against West Ham last month, saying: “I’m just not seeing enough from him. There’s glimpses there but he’s not hurting teams with his performances and his creativity. Now number 10, you’ve got to be that special player. You’ve got to be that player that can open up teams and really take the game by the scruff of the neck. I just don’t think Tyler Roberts does that for Leeds.”
Playing in a Leeds team that operate at full throttle over the 90 minutes, and commit men forward to try and create chance after chance, Roberts should be racking up decent numbers, particularly when you think he’s been the man playing that support role to Patrick Bamford.
As per Whoscored however, his measly averages of 0.9 shots and 0.6 key passes per game in the Premier League are even worse than the likes of Stuart Dallas and Gjanni Alioski respectively, and a real indictment on his lack of end product.
Roberts just hasn’t shown that clinical edge or creative guile, and Bielsa must absolutely drop him for the Premier League clash against Liverpool tonight.