Saturday, November 26, 2022

This Forward Open To A Leeds United Return: Will He Be A Viable Target For Bielsa This Summer?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

During an interview with Four Four Two, Kemar Roofe has admitted that he wouldn’t say no to a potential return to Leeds United. The RSC Anderlecht forward told the football magazine, “If the opportunity was right, I’d never say no. It was massively hard to leave. I was settled, and all the fans were incredible, but my contract was up, and it’s part of football.”

Kemar Roofe’s spell at Anderlecht

Roofe initially joined Leeds United back in 2016, in a €3.5 million move from Oxford United. During his three year spell at Elland Road, he scored 33 goals in 122 competitive matches, 14 of which came in the Championship last season. The forward eventually left Leeds, in favour of a €6 million move to RSC Anderlecht last summer.

The 27-year-old has fared extremely well following his move to Belgium so far. He has netted six goals in 13 matches, helping his club somehow retain their mid-table status. However, the ex-West Brom striker has been unlucky with injuries.

Indeed, an ankle, as well as a calf problem, have seen Roofe spend his time on the sidelines for the majority of the campaign. As a result, his overall progress at Anderlecht has stifled a bit while significantly minimising his overall game-time.

What can he bring to the table?

Roofe is a proactive attacker, known for his agility and movements in the final third. He is a smart operator who has a good sense of positioning, allowing him to be at the right place at the right time. However, what makes him such a highly rated forward is his scoring prowess as the Jamaican is really good at converting chances.

Anderlecht’s Kemar Roofe celebrates after scoring during a soccer match between Standard de Liege and RSC Anderlecht, Sunday 15 December 2019 in Liege, on day 19 of the ‘Jupiler Pro League’ Belgian soccer championship season 2019-2020. (Photo by YORICK JANSENS/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

Moreover, the 27-year-old is a tactically versatile striker. He can play anywhere across the final third, although he is most effective when deployed in a central role.

Should Leeds re-sign Roofe this summer?

Leeds United are in desperate need of attacking reinforcements in the summer. Although their creative unit has fared rather well, they have lacked productivity, with main man Patrick Bamford not being recognised as a goalscoring forward. Roofe, in that regard, could provide Marcelo Bielsa with a viable alternative.

What makes the Jamaican forward such an appealing target for Leeds United is the fact that he is quite familiar with the club as well as Bielsa’s tactics, meaning he would require very little time settling in. However, whether or not Rofe will be able to perform in the Premier League remains a big question.

In hindsight, the 27-year-old could prove to be a cost-effective option as Bielsa looks to bolster his goalscoring options, prior to his side’s potential return to the English top-flight next season.


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