In another impressive Leeds United win in the Premier League, one of the big highlights was the celebrations of both Tyler Roberts and Marcelo Bielsa when the Welshman netted in the dying moments against Southampton on Tuesday night.
Roberts came on for Rodrigo for the final ten minutes or so of the game, and wrapped up the three points by slotting home after Patrick Bamford’s effort was stopped by Alex McCarthy.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, the Leeds boss said: “I was happy he scored, because he had played many games and he hadn’t managed to do it. And the team in the second half looked a lot more like the team it is. And just how we unlevelled the game in the second half, Southampton could have done the same in the first half.”
And, writing in his post-match player ratings for Leeds Live, Beren Cross noted: “Was overjoyed with his goal. Very emotional celebration.”
Speaking after the game, Roberts himself said: “I’ve been striving towards scoring and been frustrated it hadn’t come before. It’s a big weight off my shoulders and the emotions came out, I’ve been practicing my finishing, so I when I got the chance, I was ready for it.”
Given his performances as a whole however, it’s difficult to see how Bielsa can reach the conclusion that Roberts could be a real first-team star for Leeds, especially when you think of any potential summer signings to come in, and also Rodrigo being more adjusted to life in English football.
The Athletic’s Phil Hay has previously reported on how with Leeds planning a big summer transfer window, the final months of the Premier League season would be make-or-break for someone like Roberts.
Former Leeds ace Noel Whelan has questioned whether the £4.5m-rated man 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.”
But, what he has done with his late cameo against the Saints however, is perhaps give Bielsa a bit of a headache on whether he could be an important member of the squad and as a potential rotation option, instead of just being let go permanently.
With one game left in the Premier League, Roberts maybe has one last chance to prove a real point to Bielsa and maybe save his Leeds career.