With the announcement that Leeds are likely to land West Brom forward Tyler Roberts for £2.5m today, the news has been met with a mixed reply. Some fans are just grateful that Leeds are actually signing a striker, others are excited that we’re signing a player from a Premiership club, others are (rightly) concerned that we are (again) investing more for the future by buying a League One player.
And let’s get this out of the way first. Tyler Roberts isn’t a Premier League forward, because that implies that he plays in the Premier League, which he doesn’t. His parent club do, but he has spent the last 18 months out on loan at Oxford Town, Shrewsbury Town and Walsall. He has played a whole 17 minutes in the Premier League in a meaningless end-of-season clash against Liverpool where mid-table safety was assured, in May 2016.
The point here is that Tyler Roberts isn’t an immediate solution to our shortfalls because he’s still very much a future prospect. At 19 years old and well regarded at the clubs he has played at, he’s very much someone we should consider as filled with potential. He’s a good signing, too. But he’s not someone who I expect to make an immediate impact and address our attacking shortfalls. Baggies fans are perplexed at the notion of selling Roberts when players like Robson-Kanu are still drawing a wage, but their loss is obviously our gain.
The club have had some great transfer windows recently, but selling Tyler Roberts when Hal Robson-Kanu is still employed by the club is baffling. #wba
— Alex Newton (@AlexRobNewton) January 30, 2018
The concern is that there are other glaring holes in the squad that need filling with immediate first-team quality. The fact that we ended up with only 1 fit CB against Hull last night (a game I’m not going to review because I’m afraid that re-living it would drag me into a coma that I doubt I’d ever recover from). Andy Lonergan is due to sign for Sunderland today, meaning we have a need for a reserve goalkeeper.
So let’s see what deadline day brings. I’d personally still have loved for us to sign a big player to make a real statement of intent, but you can never be angry at the club for signing quality youngsters who their selling club’s fans are gutted to be losing.
He has loads of potential. Too good for League One and could tell how he'd matured in just six months with us. Seemed to be everywhere at Charlton, forward, on the wing, even winning the ball in our own box. Need to be patient with him though, he ain't the finished article yet.
— Dan Gilbert (@DGDanielGilbert) January 31, 2018
Leeds getting an amazing talent in Tyler Roberts gutted to see him leave tbf #wba
— Dan ⚽ (@ItsYouDanDanwba) January 30, 2018
— leonwba (@leonwba) January 30, 2018
— Daryl (@Dazelar29) January 30, 2018