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Jay Roy Grot shouldn’t play right now and that’s okay

We’re all forgetting he’s only 19.

Leicester City v Leeds United - Carabao Cup Fourth Round Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

It seems as if you can never get away with a Leeds United game without doing something with Jay-Roy Grot. “Jesus Christ, does Grot have a clause in his contract that says he has to play 80% of the matches!” Is a line that I’ve heard being shout sarcastically more and more on Twitter. From my eyes, it seems that Thomas Christiansen sees Jay-Roy as a supersub that can be marketable thanks to the whole Grot/Groot thing.

Grot is a physical specimen. Even at his previous club, NEC Nijmegen, Grot was and still is shredded. There’s a lot to like about the kid. His résumé packs heat too. He’s represented Netherlands at the u17-u20 levels and from everything fans have heard, there’s supposed to be a lot of potential in this kid. That’s why we convince ourselves that it’s not a bad idea to give Grot playing time.

Grot has time and again gone out on the pitch and done nothing.

It's as simple as that. There are sparks of hope sometimes if Grot gets into space. Watching Grot charge down a loose ball or goalkeeper or defender or what have you is comically frightening. But in my eyes, he looks a hell of a lot like a golden retriever chasing a tennis ball. Looks pretty and promising at the start, turns hectic once the ball is thrown, and you hope for a return to step one.

Grot should not be playing. He shouldn’t even be regularly selected to Thomas Christiansen’s bench. But here’s the thing, that should be okay. The kid is only 19. I’m 20. If Jay-Roy Grot actually did anything then I get why he stays in the subs, but he’s just not doing anything. He’s played 14 times over the course of the regular season and cup games. He’s been included in the starting XI twice (both in cup games), subbed on 9 times, and been on the bench 3 times. All he has to show for it is an assist and a 45th minute yellow vs Burnley. He’s not showing up, and he shouldn’t be able to have any say so on when he should play at just a young age.

I’m even against sending him out on loan. I’ve heard things about how Grot can’t be sent out on loan anyway, but the whole thing confuses me and I haven’t properly checked it out. If Grot could be sent out on loan then sure, he’ll get first-team football. But how do you know he’s getting the proper coaching if you send him to a league two team? Is the League One team coaching Grot in a way that’ll help him be a star for this team? You can find out for certain by not sending him out away from Elland road at all.

So bring him to the reserves. There’s absolutely nothing wrong for Grot to go hard in practice, then watch and learn from the seats during the game. He’s young, so he’s going to learn a lot about football. But what many forget, is that he isn’t from here. He’s from Holland. He’s not only learning to adjust to the type of footy Christiansen is preaching. He’s learning how to adapt to life in England, both on the football field and outside the stadium too. The English game is notoriously quick, and it could come as a shock for Grot how quick the game is even at the Championship level.

Again, this should all be okay.

He’ll learn. He’ll adapt. He’ll kick ass. I’m confident Grot will be something special, he just needs to marinate in the system for a little bit. He made his u20 appearance on August 31st, a week after signing for Leeds, and he’s repped the u20’s twice since then. He’s done so while playing like crap for Leeds. It’d almost improve his chances if he sat on the bench, but I digress. It can’t be too bad of a life to sit on a bench and learn more about the game you love, and then to go and represent the country you love too.

The fun game starts when you want to think about who replaces Grot in the lineup. Caleb Ekuban is practicing again, will he get the spot once healthy? Pawel Cibicki hasn’t had a proper look in the team yet in my opinion, what about him? Maybe give more time to Dallas and/or Sacko? There are a lot of different options to play with here.

Either way, whoever gets the spot if TC actually does decide to change his lineup won’t have too many harsh critics. Grot set the bar shamefully low, so it’s time for someone to smash it. I’m pretty confident in Cibicki’s or Ekuban’s scoring ability, and I think that either one of them could bring a fun boost to the team.