By Mark Smith

11th Sep, 2021 | 10:30am

Phil Hay: Tyler Roberts next on Leeds chopping block after Helder Costa

Phil Hay has insisted that Tyler Roberts is next on the chopping block after Helder Costa should he not improve at Leeds United.

The Angolan international was shipped out on loan to Valencia on deadline day, with Dan James coming in to replace him.

James started alongside Roberts for Wales this week, with the latter coming in for big criticism in the draw with Estonia.

Speaking on the Phil Hay Show, the Welsh international is suggested to be next on the chopping block without improvement.

“We saw Costa go last week to Valencia,” he said.

“Without it being savage, there had been a general loss of patience with Costa. I got the sense that the fanbase reached the view that it was never going to happen.

“Roberts is kind of the next in line as the player who needs to start clicking properly. He never gets on a roll. He does need to have a good season I feel.”

Hard to disagree.

Costa still has many years left on his deal at Elland Road, so recently signing a new contract won’t do much to protect Roberts.

If he doesn’t kick on and reach the levels expected of him this season, it could see him thrown out of the door next summer.

We have seen huge glimpses of promise ever since he arrived from West Brom, but the attacker has never been able to turn that into goals and assists on a consistent basis.

The doors were closing on Costa for the past few months with substitute appearances even becoming limited under Marcelo Bielsa.

For now, Roberts appears to be getting his chances frequently enough, but how long will that last should he not start delivering? Only time will tell.

In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay makes major £100m Whites player claim after big development