Smoke bombs

No.7: Kemar Roofe

Written by: Moxcowhite • Daniel Chapman
Artwork by: Adam Hopkins
An illustration of Kemar Roofe's profile. He's wearing a yellow away kit

We wanted a new no.9 this summer and we got one. But he’s wearing… no.7. Okay, it would have been a bit much for Joel Piroe to take Pat Bamford’s shirt off his back, but traditionally the ‘other’ striker at Leeds — from Allan Clarke to Rod Wallace — has worn no.8. Seven is Gordon Strachan! What does Piroe think he’s doing!?

Perhaps he asked what our record goalscorer wore, and fancies himself as the new Peter Lorimer. The thing about Lorimer, though, is that he was out there on the wing like Strachan most of the time (and imagine how many he might have scored if he had played through the middle, Jesus). Strikers wearing no.7 are a rare thing at Leeds, so we thought we’d get Moxco to write about five of them.

Kemar Roofe arrived during a summer that surprised everyone by verging on sensible. Massimo Cellino had, essentially, given up and started looking around for someone to sell the club to, and somehow that was the catalyst for the best period of his ownership. Maybe, fed up of fighting, he started listening? Garry Monk was a decent manager. Luke Ayling and Pablo Hernandez were inspired signings. Pontus Jansson, Kyle Bartley and Rob Green were a level above what we were used to. We can’t have everything, so we also had Liam Bridcutt and Eunan O’Kane, who were at least tidy, plus Matt Grimes and his messy dramatic mother. But Leeds United were starting to become something at this point.

The biggest signing of the summer in terms of expense was Kemar Roofe. League Two’s player of the year had scored eighteen to help Oxford into League One, then for £3m he skipped that level to come to Leeds. For a while, it looked a level too far. With no.7 on his back he started in left midfield, then attacking midfield, and after just three goals in his first season, nobody was sure what he was exactly for.

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