According to The Athletic’s Phil Hay, Leeds United ace Tyler Roberts is expected to stay at Elland Road in this January transfer window.
The 7-cap Wales international has struggled to figure into Marcelo Bielsa’s plans this season, featuring only sporadically in the Premier League – he’s yet to complete the full 90 minutes in the top-flight, whilst he’s only played around 50 minutes in the division since November 7.
Despite interest from Championship sides about a potential loan until the end of the season, The Athletic has claimed Bielsa is not “minded” to consider those offers before the January transfer window.
The report adds that Bielsa is “sympathetic” towards Roberts’ situation and a lack of game-time, and that attention on his long-term future at Elland Road is likely to ramp up given he will enter the final year of his contract.
With no 90 minutes in the Premier League this season, it’s safe to say Roberts has been on the fringes of the Leeds team,
Speaking back in mid-November, former Leeds man Noel Whelan said: “Right now we are looking at a lad that is very low on confidence and very low on belief in his own ability.
“He is struggling to find form and maybe it is a step too far for him right now, the Premier League. It would be very harsh for me to say that he is not a Premier League player but he is not showing it right now.”
Much of that lack of confidence can be put down to the lack of consistent chances Roberts has had to shine in the Premier League this season. Cameo appearances here and there, and just expecting him to change the game at the tip of a hat is just foolish, especially given how he’s still only 22-years-old.
Players need to get into a rhythm to really showcase what they can offer, and Roberts just hasn’t been afforded that.
Blocking a loan move for him where he would be able to get regular game-time and feature week-in and week-out seems like a hugely strange decision from Bielsa, especially when you consider Leeds already have Patrick Bamford and Rodrigo up front, and are continuing to be linked with a move for another striker themselves.
Bielsa’s decision seems more focused on the short-term goals of the club, rather than the long-term needs of the player. If Roberts doesn’t come good at Elland Road, then much of that responsibility will have to fall on the Leeds boss’ shoulders.