Despite a dreadful 2-0 defeat against Hull City, Leeds United managed to keep hold of their top of the table spot in the Championship standings. They are leading the race to secure a long-awaited Premier League return but must retain their key players in January to ensure promotion.
The Whites grabbed a couple of dramatic victories last week against Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers where star striker Kemar Roofe scored injury-time winners to claim six crucial points for his team. But the 25-year-old Englishman has been a subject of interest of many top-flight sides including Newcastle United as the Magpies have recently been linked with a January move for the former West Brom and Oxford United forward, according to Daily Mirror.
Roofe, predominantly a wide forward, has been transformed into a prolific ‘number 9’ by the iconic Marcelo Bielsa since he took charge of Leeds United back in the summer. He has found the net 13 times to date in 20 appearances and is understandably being chased by the Magpies who are struggling to survive a relegation scare for consecutive seasons.
Rafael Benitez, the Newcastle United manager, has brought in Salomon Rondon and Yoshinori Muto as his key striking options, but they have failed to meet the expectations yet thus forcing the gaffer to dive into the transfer market once again.
Although it is unclear whether Roofe would be an immediate success in the top tier, the Whites must avoid his egress at any cost even though they have Patrick Bamford as the understudy. The latter is hailed for his goal-poaching traits but has not settled in yet following a lengthy injury layoff soon after completing a summer transfer from Middlesbrough. Teenager Tyler Roberts is also on the treatment table exposing the shallowness of Bielsa’s squad which requires reinforcement over departures.
The Englishman has fit in perfectly in El Loco’s setup and his versatility often helped the gaffer to shift formations during a game while altering the strategy. He does not offer any aerial or physical supremacy but holds a great sense of positioning, footwork and skillset to make a difference while having the ball on his feet. The season is in its midway point, and a couple of disappointing outcomes might ruin all their excellent work considering the competitiveness of Championship football.
The Whites must be eyeing an automatic promotion over the uncertainty of playoff fixtures. Therefore, they should keep hold of their prized assets at least until the completion of the ongoing campaign amidst the temptation of Premier League football.
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