Leeds United are confident they have the ‘new Samuel Saiz’ on their hands in Tyler Roberts, Football Insider understands.
The attacking midfielder marked his first league start of the season with Leeds’ first goal in their impressive 2-0 Championship win against QPR on Saturday.
A Leeds source has told Football Insider the club’s coaches have high hopes for Roberts, who they regard as an unpolished gem capable of making a big impact in the coming seasons.
The 20-year-old, who was signed from West Brom for a fee rising to £4million last year, is set for an extended run in the starting XI after his performance in one of Leeds’ best displays of the campaign.
Roberts did not only get on the scoresheet but provided combined the play with the kind of expertise not seen in the middle of the pitch since Saiz was pulling the strings in the first half of last season.
The Spaniard left a big hole when he quit last December to return to his homeland but there is a growing feeling among Marcelo Bielsa and his coaching staff that Roberts has the attacking brain to fill the void.
He has been used primarily in the centre-forward role by Wales but Bielsa believes he is more effective as a playmaker spotting angles and changing the direction of attacks with clever touches and passes.
The youngster has an eye for goal as well, something that Leeds have been sorely lacking this season, particularly as the goals have dried up for the likes of Patrick Bamford and Mateusz Klich.
Roberts has had to bide his time this season, as he underwent knee surgery in the summer and missed the first two months of the campaign.
He made his first appearance as a substitute in the defeat to Charlton Athletic at the end of September, but had to wait until the weekend for his first Championship start of the campaign.
In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that Newcastle United held an Elland Road transfer mission on Saturday.