Tyler Roberts managed just a substitute appearance on Saturday afternoon as Leeds United suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. The attacker has posted a defiant message on Instagram, but would a summer loan move away had made more sense?
Roberts, 21, has started just twice in the Premier League from a possible eight games – only managing a 19-minute cameo role against Palace on Saturday. The Wales international now has 61 Leeds appearances to his name, but his best performance this season has come in Premier League 2 for the reserves.
Indeed, Roberts laid on two assists during a win over Norwich – as Ian Poveda and Raphinha scored. But his game time for the first team has been limited. The former West Brom star managed only a sub outing despite the absence of Kalvin Phillips, Rodrigo and Pablo Hernandez.
Roberts is off to play for Wales over the next two weeks and will be hoping to add to his seven senior caps. Wales – who will be without manager Ryan Giggs over the next fortnight – face the United States on Thursday before crucial Nations League matches against Ireland and Finland. He posted on Instagram ahead of the triple-header.
Roberts, who joined Leeds in January 2018 from West Brom for a fee of £4million (Mail), has been in and out of the side ever since his move. With everyone fit, it is hard to see him breaking into the side – especially after the additions of Rodrigo and Raphinha, and the form of Patrick Bamford, who scored his seventh of the season on Saturday.
The Times claimed back in the summer that Philipp Cocu’s Derby County wanted Roberts on loan. Now, at the November international break stage, perhaps he should have taken the chance to leave temporarily and show what he is all about – on a regular basis.
Instead, Roberts will have to feed off scraps in the first team and instead use his odd appearance for Wales and the Leeds reserve side to strut his stuff. At such a young age, could keeping him on the bench hamper his development? A loan move in January should be considered.