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Following loan move - is Grot’s Leeds career over?

Leeds have taken a chance on a few young players, is Jay-Roy Grot the latest to be deemed a failure?

Norwich City v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images

In short. Yes.

The signing of Jay-Roy Grot is one of many that some Leeds fans have dubbed ‘Orta’s punts’, which I am sure on this occasion isn’t rhyming slang.

Grot’s first season at Leeds did not go well, with him displaying very little of the potential that the Netherlands must have seen to continually select him at youth level. The Dutchman scored 1 goal in 20 appearances (against Sheffield Wednesday) and he ended the season with a run of some of the worst substitute appearances any Leeds United fan can remember.

In his one season with Leeds he was mostly deployed as a striker, despite expressing a personal preference for playing on the wing. He had problems on the field, being jeered by a section of the Leeds fanbase for his poor performances. This was not nice to hear, but part of the blame has to fall on the club who didn’t pull him out of the side during his terrible form having built him up far too big on social media. The club considering the move a really important one with Grot nearly joining Fiorentina shortly before his move to Elland Road.

His bigger problems at Leeds were off the field. He admitted to struggling with adapting to life in Leeds, with living alone in a foreign country, and with some of the more poisonous elements of social media which undoubtedly could not have helped his poor performances.

Grot spent the 2018/19 season on loan at VVV Venlo in the Eredivisie. Playing mostly on the left-wing, he made 33 league appearances, registering 6 goals and 3 assists, not enough to really stand out and cause a clamour for his inclusion in the Leeds first team. Although he did have an excellent finish to the season scoring 3 goals in 5 appearances.

VVV Venlo v Werder Bremen - Pre Season Friendly Match Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images

During pre-season last year Marcelo Bielsa split his squad into three: First team, a “maybe pile”, and those to be let go. The most optimistic among the fanbase had Grot as a maybe but being moved out so soon into pre-season shows that Bielsa saw him as someone who was never going to be involved. His distance from the first team squad, added to the news that Marcelo Bielsa wants to sign three wingers, shows that he has no chance of making the grade under the ex-Argentina boss as a winger. Additionally he isn’t going to take the lone striker role ahead of Kemar Roofe and Patrick Bamford. He also seems to be behind Tyler Roberts, and Ryan Edmondson at the very least.

If the Dutch U21 international is to have any hope of making the grade at Leeds two things would need to happen. Firstly, he would need to have an excellent season at Vitesse - he sounds very happy to be at the club describing the move as a “boyhood dream”, he is from Arnhem so this sounds like he is being honest rather than the “Robbie Keane” interpretation of dream. If there was a club for him to hit the ground running, this is probably it.

Secondly, Leeds would have to fail this season, and probably quite spectacularly. He is not going to get a look-in if Leeds are in the Premier League, nor if Marcelo Bielsa stays. It is unfortunately (for Grot) the case that he is only going to get a look in at a midtable side in the Championship, and Leeds are aiming higher than that - despite there being no guarantees of success.