Connor Roberts admits he is quietly hopeful that his transfer to Leeds United could become permanent after signing on loan from Burnley.
The Wales international has joined Leeds until the end of the season, linking up with the Elland Road club for the rest of the Championship campaign and potentially calling time on his spell at Turf Moor.
Roberts won the Championship title with Burnley last season but, having made 14 appearances in the Premier League this term, slipped out of contention under Vincent Kompany and was allowed to leave ahead of Thursday’s 11pm GMT deadline.
Leeds’ agreement with Burnley is a straight loan, featuring no option or obligation to take Roberts permanently in the summer. The 28-year-old right-back has a deal running to 2025 at Turf Moor but looks likely to pursue his longer-term career elsewhere.
Speaking after signing tonight, Roberts said: “It’s something I couldn’t turn down.
“Football’s a funny game so I’ll be doing my very best to make a good impression on and off the pitch and maybe in the future it can change from a straight loan.
“At the moment, it’s just about coming here and trying to help. To be a bit-part player for Burnley this year has been a slight disappointment.”
A right-back became Leeds’ priority in the window after the club terminated Djed Spence’s loan from Tottenham Hotspur and allowed Luke Ayling to join Middlesbrough on loan.
Seventeen-year-old midfielder Archie Gray has occupied the right side of United’s defence for much of this season and Roberts insisted he had been given no firm assurances of game time by manager Daniel Farke when they discussed the move this morning.
“I spoke with the manager, and no manager would say you’re going to play every single game straight away,” Roberts said.
“I just want to be here and contribute in every way I can, whether that’s playing games, coming off the bench or not playing at all. I’ll always contribute. I’ve got a lot of experience compared to a lot of lads in this squad, off the back of last season and knowing what it takes to get out of this league.
“As a collective and a group, the aim is to get promoted. Whether that means playing, it doesn’t really bother me. I just want to be smiling with the rest of the lads come the end of the season.”