Leeds’ Bielsa must drop Roberts

After a disappointing 1-0 home defeat to Aston Villa last weekend, Leeds United are back in action in the Premier League when they take on West Ham on Monday night.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side will be keen to get back to winning ways when they make the trip to the London Stadium, and the Argentine will no doubt be pondering whether to make any changes for the game.

One man who he should drop from his starting line-up ahead of the clash is Tyler Roberts.

The Wales international has started the last three games after coming on as a half-time substitute against Arsenal, and picked up an assist in the victory over Southampton.

Should Roberts be dropped vs West Ham?




However, his performance against Villa left a lot to be desired. He lost 80% of his total duels on the day, with the away side’s defence outmuscling him time and again.

He didn’t attempt any dribbles, which was particularly disappointing given his more advanced role in the team. He struggled to get involved in the play, recording just 38 touches, which was only five more than goalkeeper Illan Meslier, per SofaScore.

The display was rather telling of his entire Leeds career – flashes of promise, but nowhere near the kind of consistency that’s required. In fact, in 70 games for the club, he has managed just seven goals and provided a further nine assists, not the kind of record of someone who wants to be a Premier League attacker.

That point about whether Roberts is actually good enough for Leeds is something Noel Whelan has raised, saying: “Is he good enough? In my opinion he isn’t. I would love him to go out there and prove me wrong because I want everyone to succeed. I need him to show me more. He needs to show more fight and desire. I just do not see that.

Whelan himself has even called on Bielsa to drop Roberts from the starting line-up for the clash against West Ham, saying: “I’m just not seeing enough from him. There’s glimpses there but he’s not hurting teams with his performances and his creativity. Now number 10, you’ve got to be that special player. You’ve got to be that player that can open up teams and really take the game by the scruff of the neck. I just don’t think Tyler Roberts does that for Leeds.”
With a tricky game against the European-chasing Hammers, Bielsa needs players who he can absolutely trust to step up – and the £5,000-a-week earning Roberts simply isn’t one of them given his performances over the course of this season.

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