‘Going the way of Saiz…’ – Exclusive: Whelan reacts to major Leeds player development
Noel Whelan has claimed Tyler Roberts may be “going the way of Samuel Saiz” after he was dropped to the Leeds United youth team this week.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-United forward called on the attacker, 21, to raise his game if he is to make a mark at Elland Road.
Roberts has featured in six of Leeds’ Premier League matches this season but made just two starts and been subbed off after 45 minutes and 56 minutes in those matches.
Roberts has dropped down to the Under-23s recently and scored in Monday’s 2-1 win over West Brom after being an unused substitute for the senior clash against Arsenal 23 hours earlier.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “He hasn’t taken his chances. That’s the biggest disappointment.
“There has been the occasional glimpse of magic but not the consistency. That’s something he needs to work on big time, or he’ll be going the way of Saiz.
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“He’s had an opportunity in the cup game. He didn’t even show up. He looked lethargic, he looked slow, uninterested at times. That’s not the way it should be.
“I’m not sure if he’s lacking in confidence and self-belief. He’s been a bystander at times.
“I worry for him at the minute. There’s a player there, but is it a Premier League player? That’s what I’m questioning.”
Roberts, who can play at centre-forward or in any of the attacking roles behind the main striker, has yet to score or assist at senior level this season.
Last season he registered four goals in 23 Championship outings, but his United career has yet to truly ignite after 61 appearances since his £4million move from West Brom in January 2018.