Phil Hay: Bielsa hints Roberts could be in Leeds firing line
Marcelo Bielsa has hinted that Tyler Roberts could be “in the firing line” at Leeds United, according to The Athletic journalist Phil Hay.
Roberts, 22, has started each of Leeds’ last two Premier League matches while also coming off the bench at half-time against Arsenal.
He’s done fairly well in those three appearances, assisting goals at the Emirates and in the 3-0 win against Southampton on Tuesday night.
However, Hay reports that Roberts is someone who’s future at Elland Road isn’t set in stone as he enters the final year of his contract this summer.
Writing on The Athletic website, the ex-Yorkshire Evening Post journalist said: “There was a hint from Bielsa on Monday, too, that Tyler Roberts was in the firing line or at the point where the debate over his ability to thrive in the Premier League had to be settled one way or another.
Hay added: “With 35 points after last night’s win, that squad are as secure in the Premier League as Bielsa could have wished for but in the case of someone like Roberts, he is nearing the last year of his contract and Leeds will have to take a view on him soon. There are others beyond him who are fighting for favour as the club try to tweak their hand and consolidate a progressive year. To all intents and purposes, the season is done. That is not the same as saying there is nothing left to play for.”
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Summer exit on the cards?
Leeds have two options between now and the end of the season when it comes to Roberts. They need to either get him tied down to a new contract or they need to decide they’re going to sell him in the summer.
It would be fair to say that Roberts is yet to hit the heights expected of him at Elland Road with the former West Brom attacker struggling with regular injury issues and failing to nail down a concrete spot in Bielsa’s starting line-up.
Since Leeds won promotion, Roberts has made 15 appearances for the Whites in all competitions and started just four times in the Premier League – with half of those coming in the last few days.
There were signs that Roberts was taking to the Premier League against Southampton but that’s just one performance. He must do it more regularly.
However, you look at the Wales international as someone who Bielsa and Victor Orta can improve upon at the end of the season.
Bielsa’s hint about Roberts’ future is not one that the player should be taking lightly. If he wants to stay he needs to stay fit and seize the opportunities he’s being given in the first-team.
Unfortunately, it could be too little too late for the former West Brom ace.
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