Opinion: Is Kemar Roofe cooking up something tasty for Leeds?

After Kemar Roofe’s hattrick for Leeds united against QPR at Loftus Road on Saturday, Leeds fans will be hoping he can stake his claim as their new top goal scorer.

Opinion: Is Kemar Roofe cooking up something tasty for Leeds?
Roofe has impressed for the Whites in recent weeks. (Photo: Robbie Jay Barratt / AMA / Getty Images)

Kemar Roofe was called upon to lead the line after an injury to Caleb Ekuban just before half time. After the break, the tricky striker managed to bag two goals in five minutes and an equally important goal in the 94th minute to put QPR to bed.

That’s Roofe’s second hattrick of the season and takes his tally to nine goals in all competitions.

With the January transfer window fast approaching and options up front for Leeds fairly limited, time will tell whether Thomas Christiansen trusts Roofe’s goal scoring ability enough to give him a prolonged stint up front. 

Roofe carving out a role for himself up front

Roofe has spent most of his playing time this season out on the left wing but when he has featured up front, he’s managed just over a goal a game.

Despite this impressive stat, it seems the 24 year-olds feet a planted firmly on the ground and he admits he may not get his own way everytime.

He said he aims to "just keep my head down and keep working", adding "wherever I get put I’m going to give 100 per cent."

His hattrick on Saturday proves he knows where the net is and Leeds arguably have some of the most creative players in the league at their disposal.

Between them, Pablo Hernandez, Samuel Saiz and Ezgjan Alioski, have created 12 goals between them this season.

The performances of Saiz have caught the attention of the league and no doubt, the Premier League teams looking for some magic in the final third.

Along with these three and of course the others playing deeper; Kalvin Phillips and Eunan O’Kane, both contributing with 5 assists between them, Leeds should be able to supply the right service for Roofe to keep his positive ratio up.

 

 

Can he remain consistent?

Leeds signed Roofe after an impressive season in league two for Oxford United, where he finished as the leagues fifth top goal scorer with 18 league goals and 26 in all competitions.

Although this feat was achieved at a lower level, previous manager Garry Monk must have had his goal scoring potential in mind before spending the £3 million necessary to secure his services

Ekuban and Pierre-Michel Lasogga are two others looking to challenge Roofe for the lone striker role.

Ekuban has impressed Leeds fans with his work rate and pace when selected this season but has now been hit with a second spell on the side lines after his foot injury at the weekend. 

Although inexperienced at this level, he seems to have taken to life at Leeds very well. Christiansen will be hoping he can help out with a few goals, but he will no doubt be happy with his hold up play and work ethic.

Lasogga started his Leeds career brightly, scoring five in eight appearances. His loan move from Hamburg was, at the time, a much-needed signing after the departure of prolific striker Chris Wood in the summer.

However, Lasogga has failed to make the 18-man squad since the 3-1 loss to Brentford back in November and Christansen has declined to comment on his recent absence from the squad.

Marcus Antonsson, who went on loan to League One Blackburn Rovers in the summer, has been pushing them back into playoff contention but is yet to prove he has the credentials to make it at Championship level.

It would be foolish to suggest that any game in the Championship is an easy one but the four-game run up until the new year has been somewhat kinder than it could have been for Leeds.

After the clash with Norwich at Elland Road on Saturday, Leeds will play Hull City, Burton, Birmingham, and then host Nottingham Forest on New Year’s Day.

If Roofe can use the momentum gathered on Saturday and keep his goal tally going, Christansen may think twice about splashing out on an expensive centre forward in January.