Derby County should step up their efforts to sign Leeds United forward Tyler Roberts with the player reiterating his desire to play as a leading striker.
The Rams are desperate for a new centre-forward before the deadline.
Derby lost Chris Martin in the summer, leaving them starting their Championship campaign with Jack Marriott as the only fit senior centre-forward on their books.
The Rams require a strong, mobile centre-forward who can win aerial duels, bring others into play while being able to run channels and battle the central defenders physically.
Marriott, standing at 5ft 7inch, unfortunately just doesn’t have the profile for this role.
According to a report by The Times, Leeds United’s Roberts is on Derby’s radar.
Many questioned the interest in Roberts due to his lack of Leeds appearances as a striker. But, speaking to the BBC, the 21-year-old reiterates his desire to be a number 9.
All my life I’ve kind of been a striker and a number nine, but I’ve obviously adapted to playing different situations. I don’t mind playing in a number 10 position, attacking midfield or out wide. Ultimately, over my career, I think I see myself as a number nine but a versatile one.
Roberts, who cost Leeds £4 million in 2018 (Daily Mail), has been involved in all of the Whites’ Premier League games so far, playing over 150 minutes.
The 5ft 11inch man is rated highly by boss Marcelo Bielsa. However, with Leeds active in the summer market, Roberts may soon find first-team opportunities hard to come by.
Rodrigo, Raphinha and even Joe Gelhardt have bolstered Leeds’ attacking options. Patrick Bamford, meanwhile, remains an ever-present upfront at Elland Road.
Leeds may be tempted to allow Roberts to depart on loan ahead of the October 16 domestic deadline, and Derby should at least ask the question as they seek to strengthen.
The Rams missed the chance to sign Serdar Dursun. Charlie Austin reportedly wants to stay at West Bromwich Albion, while Aston Villa still rely on Keinan Davis.
With the deadline looming, Derby’s options are limited to say the least.