When approaching the window many fans and pundits had a January shopping list consisting of three key positions.
These ‘needed areas’ were highlighted as a left back, a central midfielder with Championship experience and a striker who could make a difference.
Two checks were made with Laurens De Bock and Adam Forshaw, with the later coming almost begrudgingly die to the absence of Eunan O’Kane and the injured Ronaldo Vieira. However, many fans have been impressed with the former Boro man since his arrival.
The final position needed was a striker and for a long time it looked like Leeds were not willing to invest in another forward.
However, deadline day came and Leeds took a shot at their moneyball-esque transfer committee on Baggies wonderkid Tyler Roberts.
Leeds coughed up £2.5million on the young English prospect, a fee that shows some confidence in the forward and confirms his spot in the first team for the remainder of the season.
Although this deal may not be the ‘whily experienced dynamo’ many fans expected, this deal is the business that Leeds are currently trusting in.
This season was about rebuilding a mid table team and setting them up for a challenge in the near future. The difference being that many fans expected instant success having seen our early successes in the league.
Roberts is a top English prospect who at 19 years old has spent more time in the Football League than most of our squad.
The young forward has seen somewhat successful spells at Oxford United, Shrewsbury and Walsall while making his senior debut for West Brom at 16 years of age against Liverpool in the league.
There’s no doubt that Leeds may have took a gamble but if you can look back at some of our best strikers in the past 10 years they were too. Signings like Beckford, Becchio and for a short period Tresor Kandol (15 points) all they had was some hidden and no previous accomplishments and look how they turned out.
With Roberts, Leeds have caught a gem on what could be the cheap. If they allow the player to grow in the first team instead of allowing him to join the seven strikers we have in the development squad, by the end of the season he could have surprised us all.
Trust in the youth, if you’re going to rebuild you don’t blow your money on old mercenaries look at QPR’s premiership history and tell us we’re wrong.
By Ryan Ingham