The final part of the individual ratings, the Strikers. An area with two main players whom Leeds United fans have had very differing opinions of.
Definitely the pick of the strikers this season. Leeds looked much better (on almost all occasions) with Roofe up front. It’s always important to acknowledge when you are very wrong and I was wrong with something I said about Kemar Roofe in pre-season. On the podcast (latest episode can be downloaded here and is below) I said Kemar Roofe can’t play as a lone striker and he was excellent in that role this season. Scored 15 goals, which is very impressive considering the number of games he missed through injury (He only played 58.08% of the minutes available in the league).
What is harder to quantify is the quality of his movement off the ball, and this is where I feel Roofe’s contributions were miles ahead of Patrick Bamford. On the vast majority of occasions his off the ball contributions were excellent - which not only meant he was able to get on the ball a lot - it meant he moved the defence around well which created spaces for Leeds’ attacking midfielders to exploit.
Season Highlight: Back to back 95th minute winners over the Christmas period in the 3-2 wins over Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers. His excellent touch, turn, and finish to score his second goal and Leeds third at Pride Park against Frank Lampard’s Derby County™. His “thumping header” against Nottingham Forest at Elland Road. Plenty of highlights that are hard to choose from, will just give the nod to the winner against Blackburn.
Season Lowlight: Hard to pick one out as his lowlights were just his few poor performances this season. Hull at home was poor so I will say that match.
Overall Rating for season: 8.5/10
The much maligned Patrick Bamford would be a fair thing to call him, not that a decent amount of the criticism isn’t justified.
Hasn’t had as bad a season as many would have you believe. Scored 9 goals in the league at one ever 161 minutes - for comparison Roofe scored one every 169 minutes. Biggest criticism has been his finishing, which has been very inconsistent, but my biggest gripe has been his lack of involvement when having a poor game. When Roofe has a poor game he tries to get involved but Bamford seems to hide from the ball in the same situation.
Definitely has some ability and it should be remembered that Bamford did not have a full pre-season under Marcelo Bielsa, and then had two fairly serious knee injuries. Hopefully next season we see more of the Bamford we saw against West Bromwich Albion and Preston North End.
Season Highlight: Fantastic first goal at Deepdale against Preston, showed his ability following some heavy criticism in the few days before the game.
Season Lowlight: Leeds got away with it, but his missed penalty against Millwall was absolutely dreadful.
Overall Rating for season: 6.5/10
Put in the strikers to balance out the articles a bit as he played more in other positions. Started the season on the wing and was ineffective, moved up front with both Roofe and Bamford injured and scored three goals in this time. Following the loss of Samu Saiz he started to play as a number 10 and showed some flashes of brilliance which gives me hope that a full pre-season focusing on this role could lead to really good things for the Wales international.
Due to the approximately £2.5m fee Leeds fans expect a lot from Roberts at times, but it is easy to forget that he is only 20 years old. Another who struggled with injury at times this season including missing the end of the season, and his absence was very notable in the play-off semi final second leg.
Season Highlight: No goals in the game but had his best game in a Leeds shirt in the 4-0 win over West Brom at Elland Road.
Season Lowlight: His performances on the wing in the League Cup against Bolton Wanderers and Preston were both really poor. Will give the nod for lowlight to the Preston game as we lost it 2-0.
Overall Rating for season: 7/10
Only got 19 minutes of a generally poor match in a 2-1 home defeat to Birmingham City in the 1st team this season. He did score 18 goals in the u23’s title winning season and I would expect to see a lot more of him in the first team next season. In my opinion, with the injuries Leeds had, he should have been an option on the substitutes bench far more often this season. Only turned 18 in May so still a good season for his level of development.
Overall Rating for season: 7/10