Secret scout: Leeds attacking midfielder is headed to Premier League sooner rather than later
By Alex Stevens
Kemar Roofe is good enough to play in the Premier League and could join the growing list of Leeds players to up sticks and join a top-flight club, according to a talent spotter.
A secret scout, writing in the Mail, claims Roofe could follow Lewis Cook and Sam Byram from Elland Road to a first-tier outfit due to his impressive development in recent months.
He said the attacking midfielder, 24, “could catch the eye of a Premier League club in the near future” or play in the top tier with promotion hopefuls Leeds.
Roofe had a scratchy start at Leeds after joining in a £3million move from Oxford last summer on the back of a sensational campaign in which he was named the League Two player of the year.
But he has started to find his feet under the guidance of Garry Monk and his coaching staff, and has increasingly caught the eye for the promotion hopefuls with his displays behind Leeds spearhead Chris Wood.
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The 23-year-old has started 16 of the Yorkshire giants’ 26 Championship matches this season and all five of their cup encounters, and is becoming an increasingly key member of the side.
There is a growing sense that Roofe has the attributes to be a big hit in the Premier League.
“He has taken the Championship in his stride and has been a vital part of Leeds’ recent surge up to third in the table,” wrote the scout, as he assessed the former West Brom man’s credentials. “He is prepared to risk losing the ball in the final third in an attempt to take his opponent out of the game with a quick dribble. The moment he picks the ball up he shows determination, clearly encouraged by his manager, to attack his immediate opponent in a bid to drag him from his position and attract cover.
“I like the way he shows a desire to go on the outside from the wide right position. So many players take the easy option and accept the invitation to be forced across the field too readily.
“In his current role, Roofe has the freedom to drift into central areas, where his team mates supply him with passes that enable him to turn and threaten the defence directly. From there, he will take any opportunity to shoot.”
The scout explained that Roofe, who has often played out wide for Leeds, needs to work on his crossing and does not having electric pace, but is adept at carrying the ball long distances.
“His quality is movement with the ball in an area of the field where teams look to create a pressure point,” the reported added. “He really does carry a threat and, though he needs more games at this level, he looks a team player who works hard to compliment his individual skills.
“He could catch the eye of a lower Premier League club in the near future, but equally may achieve his ambitions at a resurgent Leeds.”
Roofe is expected to be named in the Leeds starting XI that faces Barnsley at Oakwell on Saturday evening.
Monk’s side are aiming for an 11th win from 14 league games, and the seventh from eight fixtures in all competitions.
Paul Heckingbottom’s side are 10th in the Championship, seven places and ten points behind Leeds.