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THROUGH THE ROOFE: Why Premier League 'rejects' are proving a point in the Football League

Kemar Roofe's inspirational performance for Oxford United against Swansea City in the FA Cup on the weekend proved to be a kick in the teeth for Premier League clubs.

West Bromwich Albion allowed the 23-year-old winger to leave after failing to make a single appearance for the club and in the wake of his match-winning double in the 3-2 triumph over the Swans, he has more than proven his worth for Michael Appleton's Us.

Roofe was sent out on loan five times to different clubs during his time at The Hawthorns, including a bizarre move to Iceland, but struggled to make any real impact wherever he went until he arrived at the Kassam Stadium on an initial temporary deal in February of 2015.

The Walsall native was slow to start with the Us but scored in his last three outings of the 2014/15 season, adding to the match-winning brace in a 3-2 win against the then table-topping Wycombe Wanderers in early April, to finish his loan spell on a high.

Surely this would have made Baggies boss Tony Pulis sit up and take notice of his goalscoring capabilities as it proved that once he soon becomes settled into an established team, he is lethal in the final third.

Instead of giving Roofe time to prove himself, however, the Welshman shipped him off to Oxford for an undisclosed fee in the summer of 2015.

With Roofe now consistently performing well down in League Two, Pulis could now be lamenting his decision, as with his fine form continuing against top flight outfit Swansea, it proves he has what it takes to do the business against a Premier League opponent.

But Roofe's is not just a one-off case, as Benik Afobe will tell you.

After struggling to impress Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, he is now a £10 million signing for Bournemouth, who face the Gunners in the league early next month.

After being shunned away to Wolves for £2.5million, the 22-year-old became an instant success at The Molineux. The powerful striker will be relishing the chance to get one over his former club, where he didn't make a first-team berth, but will also be intent on making an immediate impact for Eddie Howe down in Dorset.

It is a worrying trend that we are seeing promising young English players being offloaded like a piece of meat to lower league clubs, without being tried and tested first. So often, foreigners swan in for exorbitant prices and fail to produce in the Premier League when there are many talented local players waiting in the wings.

Sure, sometimes a club needs a quick fix with an experienced player from abroad but as Roofe has proved with 15 goals in 29 outings in all competitions this season, he and many other British youngsters around him, are certainly capable of doing the business against top quality opposition.

By Joe Baker

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