Leeds United had a big decision to make over the future of Jay-Roy Grot in the summer after the young winger impressed on loan last term – and the early signs suggest they have made the right one.
Grot, 21, did well on loan for the 2018-19 campaign with Dutch Eredivisie side VVV-Venlo. He was crucial in helping his side finish above the relegation places in 12th place, scoring six goals and laying on three assists.
The Netherlands Under-21 international returned to Elland Road but found himself with little chance of breaking into Marcelo Bielsa’s first team – despite a decent return back in his home country over the past 12 months.
Leeds had a decision, then. Should they admit defeat and sell Grot on a permanent basis, just two years after he joined the club from NEC Nijmegen for £1.5million (Express)? Or let him go on loan again.
Given his age and his 18-19 form, Leeds opted to send him on loan for a second successive season – this time to a bigger Dutch side in the form of Vitesse Arnhem – and it looks as though they have made the right decision.
Grot made his debut and helped Vitesse secure an excellent 2-2 draw with Ajax on the opening day, before scoring in his first start as Vitesse saw off Willem II by two goals to nil – tidily finishing with a left-footed, first-time effort.
His excellent start to life on loan at Vitesse is only likely to get better as the season goes on, should he nail down a regular place in the Vitesse side. It could see him save his Leeds career.
Indeed, Grot still has time at Elland Road, with two years left on his Whites deal. If he can continue this kind of form there is no reason why Bielsa would not give him another go at Elland Road.
It means that Leeds were right only to loan Grot to Vitesse, rather than sell him permanently. Though only early signs, Grot has made the perfect start to his Vitesse loan – and his bid to save his Elland Road spell.