Leeds United have experienced a positive start to the 2019/20 Championship campaign under Marcelo Bielsa.
The Whites, who narrowly missed out on promotion last season, currently find themselves third in the second-tier standings and will be looking to secure victory against Barnsley on Sunday.
Whilst Leeds suffered their first setback of the year during their most recent outing against Swansea City, they have shown more than enough in their other fixtures to suggest that they will be contending for a top-two finish over the coming months.
However, in order to have the best chance of bringing their Premier League hiatus to an end next May, it is paramount that their key players remain fit.
Therefore, the news that Tyler Roberts is edging closer to a return will unquestionably please Bielsa as well as the club’s supporters.
Although the Wales international initially experienced a slow start to life at Elland Road following his move from West Bromwich Albion in 2018, his performances during the latter half of the previous campaign were very promising.
Having recently featured for the club’s Under-23 side in their clash with Crystal Palace following a lay-off of nearly five months due to a knee injury (via the Yorkshire Evening Post), Roberts will now be looking to force his way into contention for a place in Bielsa’s starting eleven.
Here, in our latest spotlight article, we ask whether the 20-year-old could propel Leeds to promotion by taking a look at his statistics from last season.
Whilst Roberts didn’t start the previous campaign in the Whites’ side, he still managed to play a total of 2253 minutes over the course of the year.
Featuring on 31 occasions in all competitions for Leeds, the former West Brom man consistently illustrated a willingness to take on opponents as he completed 88 successful dribbles.
If he can replicate or even exceed this total this season, Roberts could provide his side with a superb outlet.
Although predominately a striker, he has also lined up as a winger, as well as a central attacking midfielder since Bielsa’s arrival last year.
This versatility could come in handy for Leeds over the coming months if the likes of Patrick Bamford or Jack Harrison pick up injuries or suspensions.
Given that Roberts only managed to score three goals last season, he clearly needs to improve upon this particular facet of his game if he is to emerge as a regular starter for the Whites.
However, when it comes to passing, the forward has shown time and time again that he is a good distributor of the ball.
As well as achieving a pass success rate of 76% last year, Roberts also provided three assists for his team-mates.
With Bielsa encouraging his players to maintain possession of the ball, the return of a player who has a proven track-record in this particular area will unquestionably be a boost.
As well as being a threat in an attacking sense, Roberts has demonstrated that he is capable of tracking back when needed having won 57.6% of his defensive duels during the previous term.
If he can continue to develop as a player under Bielsa, there is no reason why Roberts cannot help Leeds get over the winning line in 2020.