Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa must make a ruthless call and sell Tyler Roberts this summer.
Reports in recent weeks have suggested that the 22-year-old has snubbed a contract offer from Leeds, with the forward’s current deal at Elland Road expiring next summer.
The Wales international has now delivered an update on his long-term future at Elland Road, saying: “I think my agent has had a talk with them about what’s going to happen.
“I think it’s one of those where the season is so close to ending, you stay focused on the last few games and you sort that then. I think it’s all positive and, as I’ve said, I do love it at Leeds. The city, the fans, the experiences I’m getting are great so I’m happy.”
Whilst Roberts has delivered a positive update on his chances of signing a new deal at Elland Road, Bielsa must be ruthless with the under-performing Welshman this summer.
Former Leeds striker Noel Whelan insisted that the £9m-rated forward hasn’t shown enough in the Premier League to “convince” Bielsa – he managed just one goal in 27 top-flight appearances all season, and even that came in the penultimate game against Southampton.
The 46-year-old said: “With Leeds this season, he’s been given a long spell of games to convince Bielsa he’s worth keeping. In my opinion, I’m still undecided. I don’t think he affected the game during his time on the field.
“The only thing tempting me to keep him at Leeds is the fact that he’s young. He may still have a bit of growth to come. If there’s interest from Newcastle and the contract isn’t signed, he might feel he needs a new start in his career. It’s massive to leave a club like Leeds. But once he comes back to Leeds I doubt he’ll start considering how Rodrigo finished the season.”
Whelan added: “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.”
Given that Leeds will hope to see the best of Rodrigo next season after a year of adaptation at Elland Road, and that Bielsa will likely be looking to strengthen his squad in the summer, it’s difficult to see how Roberts’ current form and ability is anywhere near the kind of level that Leeds require if they are to kick on.
Roberts was handed plenty of opportunities to shine and lay down a claim this season, but he didn’t grab those. This summer must be the time for Bielsa to just be ruthless and get rid of him if the right offer comes in.