Leeds' £4m gamble on Tyler Roberts looks set to be masterstroke

Leeds United's Tyler Roberts celebrates scoring his side's first goal with teammates during the Sky Bet Championship match between Hull City and Leeds United at KCOM Stadium on October 2,...

Leeds United reportedly spent £4 million on Tyler Roberts in January, and for a while, it appeared that the forward was not going to justify that fee.

Leeds United's Tyler Roberts reacts to the defeat after the final whistle

After a frustrating evening at Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds fans would have been forgiven for fearing that they were not going to turn their dominant display against struggling Hull into three points as the game reached half-time still goalless.

The Whites were superb at Hillsborough but Mateusz Klich was the only player to convert an opportunity while several of his teammates squandered theirs. 

 

And it looked as though it may be a similar story for Marcelo Bielsa's men at the KCOM Stadium on Tuesday night as they struggled to capitalise on their control of the game. 

In the end, Leeds would bag the three points that has sent them back to the top of the Championship after Tyler Roberts drilled a shot into the bottom corner from around 25 yards out for his third goal of the season.

The goal not only saw Leeds take the points, but it also symbolised the completion of the stunning turnaround in Roberts' brief Elland Road career that makes the decision to spend £4 million in January - fee reported by the Daily Mail - seem like a masterstroke.

Leeds United's Tyler Roberts celebrates scoring his side's second goal

For a while however, it is fair to say that many would have been tempted to write off the chances of the deal to sign Roberts ever being considered an inspired piece of business, especially as he would have been available for only a compensation fee in the summer with his West Brom contract due to expire.

The forward spent the first few months of his Leeds spell on the sidelines due to injury, and first-team chances were initially difficult to come by as Kemar Roofe made a stunning start to the season. 

But since Roofe and Patrick Bamford picked up injuries, Roberts has done an excellent job of leading the line. He has scored three times - including brilliant finishes against both Preston North End and Hull - and has provided a lot of the same attributes that made Roofe so influential this term. 

Leeds United's Tyler Roberts celebrates scoring his side's first goal with Jack Harrison during the Sky Bet Championship match between Hull City and Leeds United at KCOM Stadium on October...

He is scoring goals, but also creating space in behind for his teammates with some clever running into the channels. And his defensive contribution also deserves praise. At one stage against Hull, Roberts found himself just in front of the defence - in fact, none of the front six, including Kalvin Phillips, found themselves deeper - trying to win the ball back and then offering an option as Bielsa's men looked to play out from the back.

Roberts is quickly turning into the kind of selfless forward that makes Leeds' attack devastating, and the decision to spend £4 million in January is quickly looking like one of Leeds' best pieces of business in recent years.

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