Marcelo Bielsa expresses delight at Tyler Roberts opening Premier League account in Leeds win
Marcelo Bielsa has expressed to BBC Sport his delight at Tyler Roberts opening his Premier League account to seal Leeds United’s 2-0 win over Southampton on Tuesday night.
Roberts entered the action at St Mary’s inside the final quarter of an hour to help the Whites see out the game, after Patrick Bamford had flicked home Rodrigo’s pass over the Saints backline to break the deadlock.
Bamford could have had a hat-trick having spurned an early chance when one-on-one with Alex McCarthy, who later parried the striker’s stoppage-time attempt into Roberts’ path for the Wales international to score.
It marked Roberts’ first career Premier League goal in his 27th top-flight appearance, after featuring just once for West Bromwich Albion during the 2015/16 campaign and failing to find the back of the net in 25 prior outings with Leeds.
The 22-year-old has been heavily involved in Bielsa’s plans since United secured their return to the Premier League, and offered four goals during the West Yorkshire outfit’s promotion-clinching Championship campaign last term.
Bielsa is happy to see Roberts finally end his drought and get off the mark, given the number of opportunities he has presented this season.
“I was happy he scored because he had played many games and hadn’t managed to do it,” the Argentine said.
Roberts has been given plenty of opportunities to influence results this season, but his end product has not always been there as the Welshman’s ability to unlock top-flight defences has, on occasion, been far from the level Bielsa has needed.
The midfielder will hope that his goal at Southampton will now act as the catalyst that inspires a turn of form, although it may have come too late to make a real difference this season with Leeds only having one game remaining.
It may, at least, buy Roberts more time to cement his future at Elland Road and be given the chance to stay in the summer, having emerged as a potential £10million target for Newcastle United (Daily Mail) as he will enter the final year of his contract next month.
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