A discussion within the Leeds camp over Pablo Hernandez’s potential successor has been going on for a considerable period of time.
On the odd occasion last season, it was thought that the Spaniard’s performances were dwindling. At the age of 35, you can hardly blame those assessments. He’d lost a yard of pace and it was difficult to envisage him playing two games a week in a demanding Championship campaign.
However, once all was said and done, Hernandez walked away with his third successive Player of the Year award.
The attacking midfielder is a cult-hero at Elland Road but this season really has been the one where he’s struggled.
Hernandez has started just twice in the Premier League and despite Rodrigo suffering from an injury over the last few weeks; he’s still struggled to get in the side.
The reason behind that has been Tyler Roberts, someone enjoying somewhat of a rejuvenation in Yorkshire.
In January, he was on the cusp of leaving. Bournemouth were interested in his services but ultimately, the Welshman stayed. His decision to do so has immediately been vindicated.
He has gone from Leeds outcast to the man now looking like the most likely to leave Hernandez in his wake.
Roberts might not have the mouth-watering numbers that Leeds’ Spanish dynamo has recorded in recent seasons but his performances of late have been impressive.
He has had two goals ruled out against West Ham and Chelsea, strikes that would have been fine rewards for his displays.
The West Brom academy product is improving all the time and nothing typifies that more than his performance against Chelsea last weekend.
Against Chelsea, he was rather wasteful in possession, something he needs to work on to really succeed Hernandez. That being said, he is beginning to make all the right noises.
In offensive areas, he was excellent. Roberts was unlucky to have a goal from close range ruled out while he also struck the bar with a lovely dipping effort from the edge of the box. Roberts completed three dribbles during the contest; the same number as Raphinha and had a further two shots on target.
This was an eye-catching performance, especially against a Chelsea side with five consecutive clean sheets to their name.
Described as “very talented” by Leeds guru Phil Hay, there is evidently a future for Roberts at Elland Road. In January, that didn’t look like the case.
Of course, he still has a considerable way to go to really cement his place in this Leeds team. However, in the absence of Rodrigo he has thrived.
Bielsa has entrusted him ahead of one of the club’s greatest players in the last few years; that is telling. He could just be Hernandez’s replacement.