Rangers sensational swoop for Kemar Roofe was confirmed yesterday in a undisclosed deal from Belgian side Anderlecht. Those that regularly watch Leeds will remember him fondly for his goals and his all round contribution.
It was a double celebration for Rangers with the arrival of Cedric Itten and the Swiss international boosts the forward options even further.
This was a stunning double swoop from Rangers and the way the management team and Ross Wilson is conducting their business is hugely impressive. There is a lot to be positive about with the arrival of both players and this should give us the options we need going forward.
Before we delve further into Kemar Roofe, it’s a small ‘hat tip’ to the board who continue to back the manager at every opportunity. I have been accused of being to ‘pro Rangers’ when backing this board, I am a fan after all!, but I do think they deserve huge credit for their support and funding of the management.
Kemar has arrived on a four year contract and we have every right to expect he is in his peak years as a player. But what type of player is he? What can we the fanbase expect?
I spoke with Leeds Live digital sports writer Beren Cross on all things Kemar Roofe. You can find Beren on Twitter at @BerenCross and a huge thanks to him for giving up his time.
I wanted to know just what type of player Kemar was from someone who has watched him for several years so I asked Beren the following questions
‘Hi Beren, Kemar has signed and I suppose the first question is obvious, what type of player is he and what are his main strengths and weaknesses?’
Roofe is powerful, agile, bullish striker. He’s always on his toes and alert to opportunities in and around the box. He was head of the press under Bielsa at Leeds and did a very good job with that.
‘He is known to be versatile, what is his best position?’
Good question! He played as a winger, central midfielder and striker during his time at Elland Road. However, Bielsa got the best out of him as a centre forward. He scored 14 goals in 22 matches before mid-January in 2018/19.
‘Is he well equipped to do well and do you think he will succeed at Rangers?’
If he can stay injury free he should score for fun at that level based on his successes in England for Leeds.
‘Should we be worried about his apparent injury problems?’
Yes, unfortunately. Injuries were one of the major issues in his one year under Bielsa. He would have scored a lot more with more of a consistent run in the team.
‘In terms of system, what suits Kemar best and how should he be utilised?’
I don’t know much about Steven Gerrard’s system at Rangers or who he already has at his disposal, but Roofe has the attributes to be a threat anywhere across the front three attacking roles down the left, right or through the middle.
Thanks again to Beren for his time and a few things stand out from his answers. First of all his fitness and injuries concerns are the most alarming, hopefully with the quality of our coaches we can help find a way to ensure we see the best of him consistently on the pitch.
Secondly his versatility is a huge added bonus for everyone. With Rangers using a front three even if not rigid in position, it should give plenty of pressure and competition on those with the jersey now. It also compliments what the manager said in his press conference today when he mentioned both Roofe and Itten playing in the same team.
I also liked the point about him being head of the press, Rangers chasing defenders is how I like to see my team play, constantly harassing the opposition into mistakes.
Finally, I like the description of his power and bullishness, that’s key traits in our league where he is going to get a lot of attention. He will need to learn to take it but if he has those key characteristics he will do just fine.
Of course when all is said and done we will judge him on the on the pitch and whether he can score the goals that matter.
That of course could be the difference for us this season. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can bring to the club
(Not a bad pun in sight!)
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