Emile Heskey doubts Tyler Roberts will have much of a future at Leeds United after Phil Hay reported it’s possible he’ll be moved on in the summer.
Writing on The Athletic website last week, the ex-Yorkshire Evening Post journalist reported that “Leeds will have to take a view on” Roberts soon with the 22-year-old’s contract expiring at the end of next season.
Hay even claimed in a separate tweet that “they’ll move on from a small section of the Championship old guard” in the summer.
Sky Sports pundit Heskey has discussed Roberts’ future at Elland Road and admits that the Wales international might not be good enough to stay at Leeds with the direction the club is currently heading with Andrea Radrizzani in the boardroom and Marcelo Bielsa in the dugout.
“This is the problem you have when coming into the Premier League,” Heskey told HITC. “You’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. Do you stick with the players who brought you up, knowing that they may be Championship players?”
“Some might step up to the plate but some others might not be able to.
“I think the next step is probably getting rid of, not ‘dead wood’, but what I would say isn’t quite up to scratch to what you feel you are or where you think you’re going.
“They are great players who got you to where you are – but are they going to take you to the next level? You need to make that decision fairly quickly.
“Leeds have done fantastic, they excite you when you’re watching them play but you need results, to stay in the league, and to take that next step up and be better.”
Clock ticking for Roberts
It’s a shame but Leeds have got to the point where some of the players they once relied upon in the Championship are no longer good enough for where the club is now.
From what we’ve seen this season, United are good enough to be a mid-table Premier League club as unfortunately for Roberts, he’s not a mid-table Premier League player.
The ex-West Brom player has made 16 appearances in all competitions for Bielsa’s first-team this season, scoring no goals but managing to supply two assists in his last four league outings.
But it could be down to the fact that we’re unsure what Roberts’ best position is.
When he was coming through at West Brom, Roberts was either seen as a striker or a winger.
Since joining Leeds United, he’s hardly ever played in those positions and has mainly been used in the midfield by Bielsa, either behind a striker or in a central role.
Could Bielsa be holding Roberts back slightly by not playing him in his preferred position? We’re unsure and we’re not going to question Bielsa’s methods but it could be a reason as to why the Welsh ace has struggled in the top-flight.
Ultimately, we won’t lose sleep if Roberts is on the transfer list this summer.
He’s a good Championship player but just isn’t cutting it in the Premier League.
Hopefully Roberts sees that too and goes on to find himself a new club in the summer who’ll play him regularly and he can perform for.
In other Leeds United news, are Luke Ayling’s days in Bielsa’s starting line-up numbered?