David Prutton: Striker Roofe can offer Leeds United something different
PIERRE-MICHEL Lasogga appears to be on his way back for Leeds United but I think Kemar Roofe is a more mobile striker.
And with any player who scores three goals in one game, you’d like to think you would be in pole position to keep your place in the next game.
With Roofe’s hat-trick, you probably have to take into account the opposition that Leeds were playing against last weekend in QPR and what effect that had on the way the game turned out.
But Kemar definitely looks like he feels more at home centrally though he would do a job anywhere across the front three for the team.
If you look at the Middlesbrough game, he played centrally there but he probably wasn’t as involved as he would have liked to have been.
But he still affected the game and I think he is more effective down the middle.
With Lasogga coming back, it’s whether United head coach Thomas Christiansen goes with a physical presence or whether you look at it from the point of view of different games calling for different formations and different tactics.
If Kemar plays like he did at QPR then he quite clearly is capable of playing the lone striker role.
When you say ‘lone’ striker, it is lone in terms of being centrally and by yourself but you have also got the likes of Samu Saiz and Gjanni Alioski with you so you have got a very mobile partnership there with people up and around you.
And then you have people pushing up from midfield to come and support him.
The term ‘lone’ striker is sometimes a bit misleading as it suggests somebody up front and a targetman who has got to hold on to the ball when it is pumped up to them.
This is a different way of doing it and Roofe is more mobile, plus we know he can finish.
The goals he scored last weekend in the hat-trick were superbly taken goals by a player who clearly knows exactly how to finish.
At the other end of the pitch – with the goalkeepers – Thomas is in such a strange position and I presume he is in a situation that he has probably never come across.
He is basically looking at tossing a coin for a goalkpeeper and whichever way it lands he is maybe thinking ‘I should maybe go the other way and go with the one that is facing downwards.’
That is a strange position to be in and you would think that come January they will be looking at other goalkeeping options.
But what standard and what level goalkeeper you would get in January is a different matter altogether.
But it almost seems like the confidence that you would like to see permeate from the back hasn’t really been there.
Again, it just brings into focus the decision to let Rob Green go.
I think Leeds need to bring another goalkeeper in if they have got aspirations of challenging, even if it’s a case of bringing in another one to see what it might bring out of the other two.
If it’s a choice of three first choice goalkeepers then that’s different to it being one or the other.
When there are just two, sometimes that makes it a little less tough to take when you are not the one that is picked because you are either going to start or be on the bench and be the next in line.
But if there is three of them then suddenly it’s a case of a goalkeeper thinking if they drop out if the team, does that put them to the bottom of the pack?
You are then not getting a strip on a Saturday and you are not actively involved in what’s going on on the pitch.
It’s just whether they can get someone in of genuine quality.
All goalkeepers are at the mercy of having a rick because of the nature of the position/
But with Andy Lonergan, who is in his second spell at Leeds, a man who has amassed as many games as he has and at the places he has, you are not looking at a goalkeeper who is a calamity.
You are looking at one who has perhaps had a couple of dodgy moments but that is the grand stretch of a good career.
Leeds are also set to bring in Japanese international midfielder Yosuke Ideguchi in January and if he has played international football then you’ve got to think he is of a decent standard.
And if you talk about unknown quantities coming in then you can look at Alioski and Saiz and they have settled in well and scored goals and they have adapted to the league. If Ideguchi can add a creative presence or physical guile then that’s what Leeds need because there are a lot of similar midfielders in there.
Leeds could do with someone that is either going to be defensively a good organiser or someone that has got a range of passing that can hurt the opposition so if he’s either of those two then great.
As with all new signings, you approach them with an open mind and give them time to settle. They way they then approach the game is what nails it to the mast for the fans.
Norwich come to Elland Road on Saturday and they were great in the second half against Sheffield Wednesday.
They were very good.
They seemed to find a way of playing which suited them though within the context of the game they were helped by indifferent defending but both sides were.
But it was a marker to lay down against a Wednesday side which looks indifferent.
With Daniel Farke at Norwich, they have changed the style of play and they are using a couple of younger players in the likes of James Maddison who is a real stand out performer and someone Leeds need to be wary of.
But for Norwich, like Leeds, I think anything less than the play-offs for them would be deemed to be underperforming – the same as about 10 or 12 other teams.