Whelan Exclusive: Leeds player set for 5th league start of season after big update

Noel Whelan has tipped Tyler Roberts to replace the injured Pablo Hernandez for Leeds United against Cardiff.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds hitman believes the 21-year-old has the qualities needed to fill the void by the talismanic Spaniard in attack.

Bielsa revealed at his pre-match press conference that the 35-year-old playmaker is set to miss the trip to Wales through and will return to training on Wednesday next week.

As revealed by Football Insider earlier this week, Roberts has been dazzling Bielsa and his coaches in training in the build-up to Sunday’s clash and that he is in line for his fifth league start of the season.

Whelan believes the youngster, who has also played as a centre-forward and a winger, has the attributes to slot seamlessly into the number 10 role.

Asked who he thought would take Hernandez’s place, Whelan told Football Insider: “Tyler Roberts is one of these players that can play that role, definitely.

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“We’ve seen him play before as a number 10, he played it last season when needed and he looked very dangerous and got goals from that position as well.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if Tyler plays that position, he’s very good at finding space between the gaps and getting into holes and pockets where he can pick the ball up.

“He’s very direct as well when he gets on the ball, loves to run at defenders and he’s got that attacking mind where he wants to get into the box as well. He’s somebody that would definitely be looked at to take that position.”

Roberts has scored three goals in 14 Championship appearances this season, four of which were starts, including a brace against Hull City shortly before the shutdown of football in England.

Of his 45 appearances for Leeds, 27 have come among the starting XI.

In other Leeds United news, Danny Mills claims Bielsa has a “phenomenal” ball-playing talent in the ranks who won’t be in Sunday’s XI.