Noel Whelan cannot justify Leeds United offering Tyler Roberts a new contract and claimed a move away from Elland Road may be best for player and club.
The former Whites and Coventry striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, said the 22-year-old needs to show more “fight and desire” as well as better fitness levels if he is to establish himself in the Premier League.
Roberts made his first start since 3 October on Friday as Marcelo Bielsa’s side lost 1-0 away at Wolves.
The Wales international’s future at Elland Road remains unclear, with his contract set to expire in the summer of 2022.
The Athletic‘s Phil Hay reported that Marcelo Bielsa to be a big fan of Roberts and suggested he will remain at the club if the manager authorises an extension to his deal.
When asked for his assessment of Roberts’ future, Whelan told Football Insider:
“While he is young I do not think he is of the required level. His fitness levels did not look great the other day either. He did nothing after 20 minutes. That is a substitute’s performance. We need a player who can play 90 minutes.
“Roberts has been injured too often. He was even injured when we signed him.
“Is he good enough? In my opinion he isn’t. I would love him to go out there and prove me wrong because I want everyone to succeed. I need him to show me more. He needs to show more fight and desire. I just do not see that.
“It makes me wonder whether he would be better off leaving and going somewhere where he would get regular game time.
“He had one good performance against Hull last season. That is it.
“I do not think we have seen the real Tyler Roberts yet. I find it very hard to see a career for him at Leeds United on the current evidence.”
In other news, Kevin Phillips is excited by astonishing Leeds United news.