Kemar Roofe was Leeds United’s top scorer last season, but he has now joined Belgian heavyweights Anderlecht. The Whites struggled in the second half of the season, and their struggle coincided with Roofe’s injury issues. The Englishman missed a good chunk of games later on, and Patrick Bamford failed to cover for him. Roofe also didn’t have the same effect after he made the comeback from injury.
With just a few hours remaining in the transfer window, Leeds United will have to find a replacement soon. That replacement could well be Liverpool winger Ryan Kent. In a Q and A session with the Athletic (Subscription required), Phil Hay wrote, ” Kent will only happen if Roofe to Anderlecht goes through. The money from that sale would make a permanent move for Kent possible. From what I’d told, Bielsa isn’t focusing on a senior centre forward. He thinks Kent is a player he could mould to play centrally.”
What makes Kent an ideal signing for Bielsa?
The 22-year-old is very much a Bielsa kind of player as he is direct in his approach and doesn’t like to hold up play much. The Englishman always looks to make something happen, and his pace and dribbling skills make him a joy to watch when he gets going.
The winger has a terrific work rate, which is one of the primary reasons why he would suit the Bielsa system. Moreover, Kent is also known for his endurance as he has hardly ever gotten injured in his career before. Last season, the winger made 43 appearances in all competitions for Rangers.
Will he be able to fit in a central role?
Kent played most of his games down the left flank, but he showed his versatility on occasions as Gerrard gave him a central role as well. Kent hasn’t been a prolific scorer in his career, and his effectiveness in the final third was one of the weak points of his game.
However, he came up leaps and bounds on that front last season while playing for Rangers. The winger managed six goals and nine assists in all competitions for the Scottish heavyweights. Those aren’t the numbers of a striker, but he showed glimpses of his smart finishing, especially in the second half of the campaign.
Kemar Roofe was also more of a winger when he joined Leeds United, but Bielsa got the best out of him as a forward. Kent might be able to do a role, but question marks will remain regarding whether he will be able to score goals regularly. We think that he has the ingredients to deliver for Bielsa.
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