Phil Hay: Marcelo Bielsa backs Leeds United struggler Tyler Roberts
Marcelo Bielsa is still backing Tyler Roberts despite the Leeds United attacker’s form being a concern, according to Phil Hay.
Roberts, 22, has struggled to raise his performances since the Whites won promotion to the Premier League and Hay has previously suggested that the Wales international may be on the chopping block at Elland Road if there’s no improvement.
However, Hay now reports that Bielsa is sticking to his guns with Roberts after a Leeds fan asked whether Joe Gelhardt is going to get a chance in the senior side any time soon.
“Bielsa is backing Roberts big time,” said Hay via The Athletic website on Saturday. “Made that clear again post-match today.
“There was quite a telling comment from Bielsa on Thursday – that the pressure should fall on more experienced shoulders.
“That explained why [Diego] Llorente started today, even though [Charlie] Cresswell had been so good.”
Roberts adds some depth to the Leeds United first team squad but ultimately, he’s never someone you really want to see starting.
The former West Brom attacker has had his moments at Elland Road – who can forget his performance against his old club in the Championship?
But ultimately, Roberts’ displays in the Premier League have been forgettable and with Leeds at the level they’re at right now, Victor Orta can definitely sign someone better.
We’ve tried to remain patient with Roberts.
He’s had injuries and he’s only 22-years-old.
However, fitness and age can only be excuses for so long and if a senior player starts to hold back the progress of the team, there’s only one thing to do – and that’s to upgrade on him.
Roberts is a Championship player. We don’t feel as though he’d get into any Premier League team’s squad right now.
It wouldn’t be a shock if he’s loaned out in January or even sold with a replacement brought in.
In other Leeds United news, Hay and Graham Smyth hit out at The Sun for a story about Bielsa.