Sources: Bielsa tips rarely-seen Leeds player to be dynamite in run-in
Marcelo Bielsa and his coaching staff are expecting Tyler Roberts to be electric for Leeds United in the promotion run-in.
The Wales international, 21, has not started a Championship match since last November but delivered a reminder of his talent with a two-goal substitute display in the 4-0 hammering of Hull City shortly before the lockdown.
A Leeds source has told Football Insider that Roberts has been “dynamite” in training at their Thorp Arch headquarters and is looking better than ever before.
Bielsa is a huge admirer of Roberts and is convinced he is a star-in-the-making if he can avoid the injuries that have disrupted his United career.
But the 2018 signing from West Brom may still not make the Leeds starting XI for Sunday’s Championship restart against Cardiff City.
Bielsa is not expected to deviate too much from the team that was on a five-match winning run when the season was suspended.
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Kalvin Phillips missed the 7 March win v Huddersfield with a knee injury but is certain to start in central midfield, with Ben White dropping back into defence and Gaetano Berardi back on the bench.
Further forward, Roberts may have to bide his time for a starting spot in what is a very settled starting XI.
Bielsa regards him capable of playing a number of attacking roles, including the number 10 he feels might be his best position.
He will also be the back-up centre-forward to Patrick Bamford as Jean-Kevin Augustin has broken down with another hamstring injury that may rule him out for the rest of the campaign.
Roberts has struggled for game time, partly due to injury, but his eyeopening display at Hull served further notice of what he can do.
The versatile attacker has made four league starts among 14 appearances this season, scoring three goals.
Bielsa thinks Roberts is a potentially brilliant player at the highest level but is likely to initially use him as an impact sub unless the team is hit by absences to the regular forwards like Bamford, Pablo Hernandez, Helder Costa and Jack Harrison.
In other Leeds United news, Danny Mills has claimed his former club are “in the box seat” to sign Ben White permanently after update.