Nigel Martyn has told The Boot Room that he thinks Tyler Roberts needs to leave Leeds United on loan this month in order to get some game time amid reports that Championship clubs are keen – and has discussed a possible replacement from Arsenal.
Roberts, 21, has fallen down the pecking order and has failed to make the matchday squads against Tottenham Hotspur and Crawley Town. The Wales international has been ushered out of the side by Spain international Rodrigo, among others.
The Daily Mail claim five Championship clubs are keen in the form of Bournemouth, Derby, Cardiff City, Preston and Sheffield Wednesday. But no announcement has been made as of yet on the £4million (Mail) star’s future.
Leeds icon Martyn, though, thinks Roberts needs to leave the Whites on loan this month in order to get some game time, claiming it is probably better for the player. The ex-England goalkeeper also thinks a replacement is required.
Asked whether he feels Eddie Nketiah – who the Evening Standard claim is a target for West Ham – could return to Elland Road as competition for Patrick Bamford, Martyn responded by claiming Nketiah is the kind of striker Leeds might need.
“Leeds need another striker in the Bamford role and I don’t think Roberts is quite up that,” Martyn told The Boot Room. “I think you can afford to let him go and it is probably better for the player. If you let him go, you let him choose where.
“Leeds don’t have that type of striker that can run in behind, like Ian Wright. Bamford will run in behind, but he’s not got the pace. Eddie Nketiah would be good for that, I think he’s good – but he’s not as good as Ian Wright.
“He is a goalscorer, you need someone who can run off the shoulder off the centre-halves – Bamford can do it but he’s not the quickest. Maybe someone like him [Nketiah] is someone they need to get. It got too predictable for Leeds against Crawley.”
TBR’s view – Do Leeds stand a chance of getting Nketiah?
The record England Under-21 goalscorer has entered the final 18 months of his Arsenal contract and could be allowed to leave the club on loan, or even on a permanent basis – given Arsenal’s riches in the final third.
Whether his previous loan at Leeds, in which he played 19 times and scored five goals, would boost his chances of playing – or put Nketiah off – remains to be seen. But certainly, given his contract situation, Arsenal could be tempted to sell.
However, Nketiah will know that with Bamford flying high having netted 10 Premier League goals in 17 games, that he will be second choice at Elland Road. Whether Leeds even enter the January market remains to be seen.