Jay-Roy Grot has told German site De Gerlander that he learned a lot during his spell at Leeds United, but that injury prevented him from building on a difficult start at Elland Road – since his move to German club VFL Osnabruck.
Grot, 22, joined Leeds in the summer of 2017 from NEC Nijmegen but only managed to play 22 times for the Whites before leaving in January 2021. He spent the 2018-19, and 2019-20 seasons on loan away from the Whites.
Decent spells with VVV-Venlo and Vitesse failed to see him break into the Leeds side and certainly after promotion, there was never going to be a chance of being involved at Elland Road – even though he was named in the 25-man Premier League squad.
In January, he was released to allow German side Osnabruck to sign him permanently and he spoke about his time at Leeds – stating that he learnt plenty but a long-term knee problem prevented him from kicking on.
“I learned an awful lot at Leeds,” Grot said. “I left home for the first time after my breakthrough at NEC. I went to live on my own in a foreign country, with a different language. I absolutely don’t see United as a failed adventure. I grew up faster there.
“After six months it turned out that the bacterium was still in my knee. The wound wouldn’t close,” Grot continued, discussing his antibiotic course: “It doesn’t make a person fitter. I had to nap regularly. In training, the sweat even smelled like the drugs.
“I have to take the final step physically now. I get stronger every day. I don’t think about my knee when it comes to actions. That is a good sign. I hope to be of value here this season. After all the misery, that is quite something.”
TBR’s view – Shame for Grot, he had plenty of talent
He showed that in a couple of instances, and indeed while on loan in the Netherlands. Even during the trip to Myanmar which saw Andrea Radrizzani take his Leeds players away before allowing a summer break, Grot impressed.
Against the national side of Myanmar, Grot scored a beautiful goal – curling inside from the left and finding the top corner during a 2-0 win. But he was never really given a go and by the time Bielsa arrived, Grot’s Leeds chances were zero.