Roofe is proof Leeds are a different proposition under Marcelo Bielsa

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    WIGAN, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 03: Leeds United's Kemar Roofe steals the ball after Wigan Athletic's Christian Walton fumbles during the Sky Bet Championship match between Wigan Athletic and Leeds United at DW Stadium on November 4, 2018 in Wigan, England. (Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images)

    Amid speculation linking Kemar Roofe to the likes of Wolves, Crystal Palace and Southampton, the 25-year-old remained solely focused on his duty for Leeds United, scoring the winner against Wigan.

    Being shown live on Sky Sports for what feels like more times than the sun sets certainly does Leeds no favours in keeping the circling vultures away. There is plenty of coverage of Roofe available for interested parties to be impressed by after all.

    Beside his goal scoring form, Roofe offers so much energy and willing running to the forward line.

    While Tyler Roberts can hardly be berated for his spell up front, Leeds did ultimately miss the dynamic springiness of Roofe when he was injured.

    Despite having the stature of a wily winger or a Deli Alli-esque number 10 type of player, Roofe has been transformed into a predatory striker who is unquestionably a handful inside opposition penalty boxes.

    Predominantly played as an attacking midfielder under Garry Monk, Roofe is one of a few Leeds players who have proved to be more than capable in multiple positions. Such ubiquity can be attributed to Kalvin Phillips (midfield and defence), Stuart Dallas (right back, left back, winger) and Gjanni Alioski (left wing and left back) for example, and certainly helps when injuries mount up. Such players are why Bielsa favours a lean squad.

    While there was plenty of fortune about Roofe’s goals against Nottingham Forest and Wigan (due to a favourable refereeing decision and goalkeeping howler), many Leeds fans will say he deserves such slices of luck because of his work rate and commitment to the team.

    He does not have the stature to dominate many centre-backs, but he has shown his quick-feet around the box can cause devastation in another form.

    WIGAN, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 03: Leeds United’s Kemar Roofe holds off the challenge from Wigan Athletic’s Cedric Kipre during the Sky Bet Championship match between Wigan Athletic and Leeds United at DW Stadium on November 4, 2018 in Wigan, England. (Photo by Alex Dodd – CameraSport via Getty Images)

    His second goal against Derby, as well as a blocked first-half chance at Wigan, proved he can make a goal for himself out of nothing. What’s more, he is getting in the right positions for the simple tap-ins, a sure-fire sign of a successful centre-forward.

    With seven goals in 10 league games already this season, Roofe’s goal scoring ratio is supreme. Such influence helped him land the August Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month award, before his momentum was unfortunately stalled by a calf injury.

    The former Oxford player has come a long way since he was brought to the club ahead of the 2016-17 season. Roofe looked out of his depth as Leeds were pulverised 3-0 at Loftus Road on the opening day of that season having jumped-up two divisions from Oxford.  

    Roofe would go on to score just three goals in 49 appearances that season, albeit with an unhealthy reliance on Chris Wood as the major source of goals.

    Now, Roofe and the team as a collective are a completely different beast.

    WIGAN, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 03: Leeds United’s Kemar Roofe celebrates scoring his side’s second goal with teammates during the Sky Bet Championship match between Wigan Athletic and Leeds United at DW Stadium on November 4, 2018 in Wigan, England. (Photo by Alex Dodd – CameraSport via Getty Images)

    Not only is Roofe proving a goal scorer like Wood was, he’s also proving to be a willing runner ready to harry and press opponents in a manner Bielsa has unmistakably implemented on this team.

    With eye-catching fixtures against the likes of West Brom and Sheffield United coming up, Leeds fans will certainly be expecting Roofe to keep up his terrific form.