It’s fair to say that, since Kemar Roofe made his exit from Leeds United a couple of years ago, he’s really shown his former club what they have been missing.
Marcelo Bielsa made it clear that he wasn’t a fan of him walking out the door, saying: “I can’t be happy if Roofe leaves. If I tell you this when he scored 15 goals last season, I would be stupid.”
Following his £7m move to Belgian side Anderlecht, Roofe eventually made his way to Scotland to join Rangers, where he’s developed into a fine all-round player under Steven Gerrard, with the Gers boss waxing lyrical about him.
He said of Roofe: “He’s doesn’t stop, he’s like a Duracell bunny. He’s hitting numbers that you don’t really expect from a forward player. He’s running more than the midfielders and he’s running the most in the team at the moment.
“I think he’s really setting the example in terms of what we need to put into a game to get the results we’re getting. Everyone is putting in impressive numbers but Roofe has raised the bar with the last couple of performances he’s put in.”
Roofe himself has showered praise on his former boss at Leeds and the influence he has had, saying: “(The biggest thing I learned under Bielsa is that) I developed a kind of robustness to know you can keep going, keep working, keep working like a machine. You do not really need to rest or take a break; you just need to keep working.
“You see when Leeds play, you don’t see anyone just walking or jogging, everyone is at full sprint. So, I learned that side of things to know I can push my body even further and also with Bielsa understanding the game even more. How simple to make the game, even down to formations.”
After the Gers won the league title a couple of weeks ago and ended Celtic’s era of dominance, Bielsa showed a touch of class in taking the time out to praise Roofe on his achievement, saying: “I follow how each player that has passed through here is doing. I’m very happy that Roofe is able to win the Premier League in Scotland.”
Given Roofe’s style of play, and that he’s turned himself into a top-level goalscorer – he now has 108 career goals – Leeds must surely rue selling the forward in 2019.