Quick links

Leeds United

Succeed where Monk struggled? Christiansen's tactic could get the best out of Kemar Roofe

Thomas Christiansen

Leeds United have appointed Thomas Christiansen as their new manager.

Thomas ChristiansenThomas Christiansen

Leeds United sprung something of a surprise on Thursday afternoon by confirming that Thomas Christiansen has been appointed as the club's new manager.

The Whites were rocked in May when manager Garry Monk handed in his resignation, but sole owner Andrea Radrizzani has moved to bring in Christiansen as his replacement; something of a left-field choice.

Formerly of Barcelona in his playing days, the 44-year-old has managed AEK Larnaca and APOEL in Cyprus, and arrives at Elland Road with fans knowing little about him as a manager.

General view inside the stadium before the game - Elland RoadGeneral view inside Elland Road

As noted by Transfermarkt, Christiansen predominantly used a 4-4-2 system with APOEL last season, which wouldn't prompt a huge change from Monk's 4-2-3-1, with wingers asked to do more defensively and a No. 10 removed in favour of a second striker.

Whilst that could be bad news for playmaker Pablo Hernandez, it could be a great switch for attacker Kemar Roofe, who joined Leeds from Oxford United in a £3million deal (BBC Sport) last summer.

Leeds United's Kemar Roofe in action with Newcastle United's Jamaal LascellesLeeds United's Kemar Roofe in action with Newcastle United's Jamaal Lascelles

Roofe, 24, thrived as a striker with Oxford, smashing 26 goals in 48 games during the 2015/16 season – but former Leeds boss Monk seemed to struggle with regards to just where to play the former West Brom youngster.

Often played out wide with little success or, more beneficially as a No. 10, Roofe was either mis-used or under-used by Monk, with many Leeds fans left frustrated by his lack of impact last season.

Christiansen's 4-4-2 could give Roofe the change he needs at Elland Road. Switching to such a system with the current Leeds squad could be an issue, given that Marcus Antonsson and Souleymane Doukara are the only other options alongside Chris Wood, but it would give Christiansen the chance to test Roofe in attack.

Kemar Roofe of Leeds United reacts after being given off sideKemar Roofe of Leeds United

Not only does Roofe possess the pace and movement to work around and in behind Wood, but he has the technical ability to drop deeper if needed to create, making him potentially the ideal partner for a target man like Wood.

Add in that Roofe and Wood played together in the West Brom academy, and this could be the ideal strike partnership for Christiansen if he does choose to continue his 4-4-2 system that served him so well with APOEL – and he should certainly give Roofe the opportunity to thrive in his preferred position before moving for Omonia's Matt Derbyshire, given that the Daily Mail claim Christiansen wants to sign him this summer.

Would you like to see Leeds play a 4-4-2?

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch