Phil Hay has been speaking about Tyler Roberts’ need to do well this season for Leeds United.
Despite still being just 22 years old, Roberts has not experienced the most successful times at Elland Road, having scored just eight goals in 86 appearances in both the Championship and Premier League – and with Patrick Bamford the main striker, it looks difficult for Roberts to make a meaningful impact at Leeds.
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There were reports over the summer that Roberts may be heading for the exit door at Elland Road, with Newcastle United said to be interested in the Wales international and Hay spoke about the striker having to step up and impress this season.
He said: “Roberts is kind of next in line as the player who really needs to start clicking properly. It’s not that he never makes an impact, because he can and he does, it’s just that he never gets on a roll, and never gets on a roll for a concerted period of time.
“Once you start thinking of yourself as an established Premier League team and once you start to think about moving up the table and competing for bigger things than just league position – potentially in future, competing for Europe and so on – you need players to be at a very, very high level. And he does need to have a good season, I feel, this year.”
TIF Thoughts on Tyler Roberts…
Despite being a more natural forward, Roberts was deployed as an attacking midfielder last season under Bielsa, which may be why his numbers weren’t so great, but given Bamford’s form last campaign, he won’t likely get a look-in to start a league game as a striker at this moment in time.
A move to somewhere like Newcastle may have been a better fit for Roberts as the Magpies have very little cover for now-injured number nine, Callum Wilson, so opportunities there may have been easier to come by, but as Hay spoke about, he must step up to prove he’s good enough and worth having a spot in Bielsa’s squad.