Tyler Roberts will likely leave Leeds United this summer in an effort to play more regular Premier League football, according to one observer.
The Wales international has endured a stop-start spell since signing for Leeds from West Brom back in January 2018. This season, however, he has fared much better and, having waited for his chance, has muscled his way into Marcelo Bielsa’s side. Indeed, Roberts has made 14 starts for Leeds in the Premier League, adding 13 more off the bench.
That is comfortably his best season yet for the Yorkshire side. And, after several near misses, the forward struck his first goal in the Premier League during Tuesday’s 2-0 win at Southampton.
However, the 13-cap Wales forward’s future remains in some doubt. Roberts’ contract at Elland Road expires in summer 2022 and Leeds are keen to tie him to an extension.
But, according to reports earlier last week, Roberts has turned down the offer to leave his future up for debate.
Roberts was linked with an exit ahead of the January window, before Bielsa opted to keep him. That decision looked vindicated as the player forced his way into Bielsa’s plans.
But it’s now emerged that he’s a target for Newcastle this summer. It’s suggested Steve Bruce is a huge admirer of Roberts and is willing to fork out £10m for his services.
And pundit Kevin Phillips reckons a move to St James’ Park might just suit all parties. It would give Leeds the chance to make a decent profit on the £2.5m Victor Orta paid West Brom three and a half years ago – and would allow Roberts to gain the regular football he craves.
“I want to see young players playing,” Phillips told Football Insider.
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“I’ve said that all along. He’s had some minutes this year but when you’ve had that, you want to be playing first-team football.
“Once you’ve had that taste. If you aren’t guaranteed that at your club then you want to go somewhere else.
“Naturally, when know you can perform at the Premier League level you want to play every week and develop.
“That’s one we’ll be reading about over summer whether he goes out on loan or whatever. Him going would not be a surprise.”
Roberts hits out at Leeds critics
With Roberts playing a leading role, Leeds finished the season really strongly, having suffered just one loss in their last 11 and having won their last four games. That proved their best run at this level in 19 years.
The Whites indeed finished the season ninth and were just three wins short of a Champions League place! That makes a mockery of those who expected ‘Bielsa burnout’ to derail their season.
That’s something Roberts was quick to highlight and says he hopes their form has silenced their doubters.
“That’s been something that’s happened over the last few years,” he told Amazon Prime Video. “People think we’re going to fade away towards the end of the season and I don’t get it this year, because we showed last season that we pushed on even more and it’s showing again this season.
“It’s credit to the boys and our fitness.”