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Costa and Roberts

Thought I would write this thread as not many places elsewhere I can comment (due to the vast amount of other posts being started by Jonty), but its something I think isn't being said enough.

A few weeks ago, I think many would have said that the weak links in our squad were these two players, Helder Costa and Tyler Roberts (excluding the likes of Poveda, who has significantly less first team experience, even if he is close of age to Roberts). I think many would have doubted their involvement in games. Certainly I was always a bit unsure when Bielsa turned to Roberts to try and change the flow of a game.

Despite that, and them being written off by a lot of people, I think they have taken their chances recently to show just how good they can be. This run of fixtures that Roberts has grasped due to the absences of Rodrigo and Klich, have really seen him stake a claim for a berth in the eleven until the end of the season. I don't think he was at his best last time out, but the nature of the game made it hard to say, as he was significantly limited in the scope of creativity he could play.

I've often said in real life that if a player loses a ball but is always trying to do something then I can forgive that, and I think that is true of Roberts. There are definitely facets of his game that could do with improving (his shooting, although he was very unlucky against Chelsea), but he is always looking to try and get on the ball and drive us forward. He reminds me of Saiz in that regard, and I think he is a much more natural replacement for Rodrigo than Hernandez is. Still only 22, he has a long time to grow those weaker parts of his game, but I think we are already starting to see that. He looks stronger to me, and braver, too, going by how he goes into the 50/50 with Baldock, and gets a nice pass away, even though he knows he's going to be clattered. That's what I want to see more of. He's unlucky he hasn't got a couple more assists these last two games.

Costa, meanwhile, has mainly been relying on substitute appearances, and has really changed the game in our favour some of the times that he has come on. His pace and direct running really work when we want to get in behind a tired defence, but the big criticism is his work rate off the ball. Too often we see him get shrugged off and wander back. Against City I thought he was the exact opposite, getting himself stuck in, pressing well, winning duels, and keeping them on the back foot at times with his breaks. If we can see more performances like that then I will be very happy. At the start of the year he came bursting out of the blocks, very much akin to how we were as a team, but he definitely fell off. Still, starting to see some signs that make me happier.

It stuck in my mind that someone, either on here or on Twitter (can't remember, so it can't have stuck in my mind that much ) asked for lists of players you would sell this summer, and so many people said Costa and Roberts. For me, these two have shown enough in the second half of the season to suggest they would be adequate squad options going into next season, and hopefully they continue to prove that.

comment by Kern (U4664)

posted 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Agreed, when you can say he's on your bench and you can bring him on or use him as a fill-in starter, you're on to something. He's scored and set up crucial goals.

Related to that, I hope our first piece of business this summer is signing Jack H.

posted 3 weeks, 6 days ago

comment by Kern (U4664)
posted 5 minutes ago
Agreed, when you can say he's on your bench and you can bring him on or use him as a fill-in starter, you're on to something. He's scored and set up crucial goals.

Related to that, I hope our first piece of business this summer is signing Jack H.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Reports online that we've already activated the clause to buy him

comment by Kern (U4664)

posted 3 weeks, 6 days ago

If that's true, I'll be made up. He's shown massive improvement under Mb. Shocker. Who hasn't?

I really am starting to buy into the theory shared
by quite a few on here, that we might only need
two to three top additions this summer.

Llorente and Raph are the benchmarks for me.

posted 3 weeks, 6 days ago

yup 2 would like 2 starters though, take things steady don't rock the bielsa boat

posted 3 weeks, 6 days ago

As said earlier, A starter at LB and 8, then competition with Phillips. Maybe another striker, but only if we can get one cheap.

posted 3 weeks, 6 days ago

a cheap striker? like who?

posted 3 weeks, 6 days ago

If that's true, I'll be made up. He's shown massive improvement under Mb. Shocker. Who hasn't?

--------------------------

Really good question. Who's not improved under MB? Is there anyone in the team? Casilla?!?!?

comment by Kern (U4664)

posted 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Have you seen the rumours starting over the big CB
curently at Sampdoria? And there's a LB at Granada
we are supposedly looking at. And the lad at Reading
Olise? French midfielder having a great season.

All speculation.

One thing we've all learned, we can throw out names
all day long. The club always has other ideas.

posted 3 weeks, 6 days ago

comment by Kern (U4664)
posted 1 minute ago
Have you seen the rumours starting over the big CB
curently at Sampdoria? And there's a LB at Granada
we are supposedly looking at. And the lad at Reading
Olise? French midfielder having a great season.

All speculation.

One thing we've all learned, we can throw out names
all day long. The club always has other ideas.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
We were linked with Colley before, so I wouldn't read too much into that one. Seems like a classi lazy rumour linking us to a past linked player.

Think the LB at Granada might be two players? We have linked to Yangel Herrera at Granada, who's a versatile CM, seems to be an alternative option to Boubakary Soumare who we had been linked to. The LB we want seems to be Romain Perraud at Brest, who basically play a very similar way to us. He's in quite high demand.

Olise would be a great signing. Think the time might have passed, though. Been linked with some big clubs last few weeks.

comment by Kern (U4664)

posted 3 weeks, 6 days ago

You're right Lubo, it was Herrera at Granada. I read that he was playing defensive mid (Poss KP cover), but then this season they moved him more forward and he's scoring goals. As you say though, it could all be pre summer lazy journo chatter.

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