- Tyler Roberts has made big strides in recent weeks and a good showing against Liverpool would show he deserves an important role in the Leeds United squad.
The midfielder got his chance in the side due to the fitness issues suffered by Rodrigo and Mateusz Klich, and he has now formed a good partnership with Stuart Dallas.
The pair were key to the win over Manchester City, while Roberts’ best game this season came against Chelsea – a match in which he hit the bar and was named as BT Sport’s man of the match by Steve McManaman [Yorkshire Evening Post].
Roberts has the character and ability to perform in big games, therefore, and we expect him to make another statement against Liverpool.
He will be coming up against world-class players in Fabinho and Georginio Wijnaldum but if he can stretch their midfield we should get a lot of joy.
The 22-year-old has completed 1.5 dribbles per game this season [WyScout] and if he shows confidence on the ball he should create chances for our forwards.
In our last home game, against Sheffield United, the Wales international created one big chance [SofaScore] – putting Jack Harrison through for a one-on-one chance he should have buried.
It is little surprise that one of his former managers, Tony Pulis, believes the “very talented” Roberts has proved his “mental toughness” under Marcelo Bielsa [BBC].
Roberts has Bielsa’s faith and he is playing with confidence.
Liverpool will provide a stern test but if Roberts puts in a strong showing he will make a very good case to be a regular starter next season.
And with Rodrigo also to come back into the side, Victor Orta may have second thoughts about signing a new central midfielder.
Bielsa always likes a small squad and though Pablo Hernandez could leave, his replacement could instead be a back-up for Kalvin Phillips.
That would give us two options for every midfield position and such depth would cover for illness, injury and suspension, which we have struggled with at times this year.
A lot is resting on Monday’s match and our remaining fixtures for Roberts, but given what he has shown in recent weeks we back him to make a strong impression.