When he was signed by Leeds United last summer, much was expected of Holland Under-20 international Jay-Roy Grot. It is fair to say that he didn’t deliver.
It’s strange in some ways, Grot cuts an imposing brute of a figure on the field of play yet some Leeds United fans will be quick to indicate that he’s hardly the most physically imposing of players.
Leeds fans were patient, but that patience soon wore thin and many Whites fans were quick to criticise everything from Grot’s mobility, lack of goal threat and, indeed, his desire for the game.
Grot has potential, likely bags of it, but Leeds United fans didn’t get to see that during his 19 Championship appearances (295 minutes) in the famous white shirt.
He was utilised mainly as a substitute by Thomas Christiansen and, after Christiansen was sacked, by Paul Heckingbottom. Indeed, Grot only started one game, against Preston North End, and his sum contribution across the season was one goal and one assist.
With it looking extremely unlikely that Grot would play any significant part of Leeds United’s 2018/19 campaign under Bielsa’s glare, a loan out the Dutch Eredivisie side VVV Venlo is likely the best move for both parties.
For Grot it will give him a healthy amount of game time to recapture that promise and potential; for Leeds United it will mean that he’ll hopefully return after this season in better form and ready to kick-on.
He started his loan out in spectacular fashion, hitting a brace on his début against minnows Veritas as Venlo put seven past them in a 7-1 drubbing. He played 60 minutes of that game, enough time to run off his inaction and pop two in the onion bag.
He kept up that goalscoring glut yesterday in Venlo’s 16-0 massacre of minnows SVEB. Grot hit the straps from the off, scoring the opening Venlo goal in the first minute of the game. He followed this up with his new side’s sixth goal in the 16th minute of the game – his brace helping Eredivisie side Venlo to a 9-0 half-time lead.
You can rightly criticise the level of competition, and should do, but Jay-Roy Grot is simply doing what all strikers get paid to do – score goals.