Phillips blasts Leeds star Roberts and claims he didn't deserve new contract
Kevin Phillips insisted Tyler Roberts needs to “up his game” after struggling to impress at Leeds United this season.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Premier League striker insisted the 22-year-old has failed to prove he deserved a new contract at Elland Road.
The Wales international penned a deal running until the summer of 2024 back in June.
He has been a regular among the first-team squad for Leeds but has struggled to nail down a starting role.
While he featured in the Whites’ opening six games, all of his appearances came off the bench.
Despite Patrick Bamford’s absence, Roberts still started Saturday’s clash with Watford among the substitutes and came on for the last 12 minutes.
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Phillips insisted Leeds would not have given the versatile attacker a new deal if they did not believe he could be good enough.
However, he admitted the Wales star had not done enough to prove he deserves the new deal.
Asked if Roberts is good enough to match Leeds’ aspirations, Phillips told Football Insider’s Dylan Childs: “He needs to start proving it.
“You don’t get a new contract to a new player otherwise. Bielsa will have studied him, you don’t give a player a contract if they don’t believe he is.
“They obviously believe he is. Now it’s down to the player.
“You’ve got your contract, now start performing. Show us your qualities that made them give you that contract.
“From Roberts’ point of view, he needs to step up now. That’s pretty clear.”
Roberts has been used as a centre-forward, an attacking midfielder and a winger this season.
He scored just one goal and contributed two assists in 27 appearances last term.