Roberts injury gives Jay-Roy Grot real incentive for Leeds U23 spell

Leeds United's Dutch midfielder Jay-Roy Grot (2nd R) has this shot saved as Leicester City's English defender Harry Maguire (R) closes in during the English League Cup fourth round...

Jay-Roy Grot has recently been seen more often amongst Leeds United's under-23 side.

West Bromwich Albion forward Tyler Roberts reacts during the Premier League Asia Trophy match between West Brom and Crystal Palace at Hong Kong Stadium on July 22, 2017 in Hong Kong, Hong...

In what has already been a very trying 2018 for Leeds fans, one of the last things that they would have needed was to hear that their January signing is now set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

The club confirmed on Wednesday that Tyler Roberts is set to miss an extended period due to an ankle injury sustained in training this week, and that will undoubtedly be a major blow for Paul Heckingbottom as he looks to get the Whites' play-off charge back on track.

Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom during The Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Millwall and Barnsley at The Den on January 6, 2018 in London, England.

While Roberts is certainly one of the future, the money spent on him suggested that the club saw him being a player who could make a decent impact for the team this season, and thus, not having him for the foreseeable future is certainly a setback.

For Jay-Roy Grot however, he should look at his teammate's desperately unfortunate situation as a potential opportunity to prove himself after an extremely difficult start to life at Elland Road.

Jay-Roy Grot of Leeds United and Joe Worrall of Nottingham Forest in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Nottingham Forest and Leeds United at City Ground on August 26,...

Grot is still awaiting his first goal for the first-team following his summer switch, and the fans are still to be convinced that he has the potential to make the grade with the Championship club. 

The Dutchman has only been in the matchday squad for one of Leeds' last four games however, having now seemingly moved into a position where he is on the first-team radar, but also being used by the under-23 side. 

And while some players may look at the involvement with Carlos Corberan's team as a demotion and a possible sign that they could be in danger of being discarded in the future, Grot arguably now has all the incentive he could need to make the most of his time with the under-23s. 

With Roberts sidelined, Heckingbottom has Pierre-Michel Lasogga, Kemar Roofe and Caleb Ekuban available to him before he has to start looking for alternative options if necessary - and that could potentially involve having a look at who is impressing for the under-23s.

Grot has looked bright for the youngsters so far, and that suggests that his spell with the under-23s may do his confidence the world of good ahead of a potential permanent recall to the first-team fold. 

And with Roberts now out of the picture for the time-being, Grot should hold onto the fact that his teammate's terrible luck may bring about that recall much sooner than he would have previously expected. 

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch