Noel Whelan was blown away by Tyler Roberts’ transformation during Leeds United’s explosive Championship clash against Aston Villa.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds striker claimed Roberts, 20, was “exceptional” after replacing Jack Harrison at half-time of the controversial 1-1 draw.
Whelan explained that the Wales international has been inconsistent during his first full season at the club but saw signs at Elland Road on Sunday that bode well for the play-offs.
“I was delighted at the way Tyler Roberts came in and made an impact,” Whelan said. “He was exceptional. He is nowhere near a Pablo Hernandez in terms of being able to pick out that pass, and he needs to be more ruthless.
“But he was transformed at the weekend. What he brings is a little bit more directness – he’s got great feet, a trick in his locker and can drive past people.
“He can cause problems because has a turn of pace about him. He is very lively as a number 10 and that’s where I would play him in the play-offs.”
Roberts has been utilised in a number of different roles at Leeds this season, including as the centre-forward when Patrick Bamford and Kemar Roofe were both out injured last autumn.
He has settled into the role of the number 10 in recent months following the January loan departure of Samuel Saiz to Getafe.
Roberts was axed from the starting XI against Villa on Sunday, but then replaced winger Jack Harrison at half-time, which was his 31st appearance of the season.
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