Tyler Roberts is getting better and better and could be the long-term replacement for Pablo Hernandez at Leeds United.
Hernandez’s future has been the topic of much speculation and the 36-year-old could leave in the summer, with Castellon named as one possible destination by journalist Phil Hay.
The Spaniard has had four successful years at Elland Road but has seen his role diminish hugely this season, with just two league starts this term.
By comparison, Roberts has started the last seven consecutive matches and was picked against Sheffield United despite breaking rules for Wales last week [The Athletic].
That is because he has impressed in recent games against Chelsea and Fulham – performances which seem to have won over Bielsa and a number of fans.
Footage from Saturday’s match sparked a big reaction amongst the fanbase as Roberts produced a Kevin De Bruyne-esque pass to find Jack Harrison.
— Marching On Together (@motforum) April 4, 2021
Big improvements recently in his game, hopefully he can stay fit and continue to get better. Still only 21 isn’t he?
— ian (@ian18560829) April 4, 2021
When Roberts isn't in headless chicken mode and actually concentrates, he can make some unbelievable plays. Could be our new Hernandez if he's mentored correctly. 👍
— Andy M (@bungholio81) April 4, 2021
It was a pinpoint pass from right to left and found Harrison in a very dangerous position.
Roberts has often proved to be an effective runner who looks to grab a goal and assist, but this incident was evidence of his wonderful vision and excellent passing range.
That is exactly the type of strengths Hernandez brought to the side, so Bielsa may already have a successor for the veteran midfielder.
Along with that brilliant pass, Roberts also created one big chance against Sheffield United, per SofaScore.
He drew in George Baldock – and was clattered by the defender – in order to release Harrison for a one-on-one chance that he really should have buried.
Per WyScout, Roberts has also completed 1.6 dribbles per game and 1.4 passes to the penalty box, which shows he has put the Whites on the front foot.
Also, the 22-year-old has won four attacking duels per 90 minutes.
That shows he has a desire to win the ball and the energy to back up his determination – two characteristics that are integral for a Bielsa player.
With Rodrigo not fully fit and Hernandez out of favour Roberts has a real chance over the next few games to cement his place in the side for next season.
Leeds have been linked with Rodrigo De Paul once more [Tutto Atalanta] and a midfielder could arrive in the summer, but Roberts is certainly an option to replace Hernandez.
In other Leeds United news, a YEP journalist showed his fury at Match of the Day after ignoring ‘horrific’ incident v Sheff United.