The Athletic’s Phil Hay has delivered his verdict on Leeds United star Rodrigo after yet another disappointing display in the Premier League.
The Spaniard has been nothing short of a disaster in these first few weeks of the new campaign, failing to score or assist in his seven top-flight appearances thus far, even being hooked at half-time in a couple of those.
And, after watching him deliver another goal-less performance against Southampton at the weekend, Hay raised concerns about whether the former Valencia man is the right fit for Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
He said: “I don’t doubt he’s a good player, genuinely. But it’s hard to be convinced that he’s the right player for this team or this system. Put it this way. If Bamford is fit next weekend then your inclination would be to start him.”
After splashing the cash to sign him for a club-record fee from Valencia back in the summer of 2020, it’s fair to say that Rodrigo hasn’t exactly delivered on his price tag just yet.
The Spanish forward endured a difficult debut campaign at Elland Road last season, completing the full 90 minutes just four times in the Premier League, while also missing a number of games either through injury or a viral infection.
Given the fee for which he joined – £26m – it’s quite telling that CIES now only value him at £6m – an indication of the kind of poor form and injury troubles that he has suffered and the fact that he will turn 31 in a few months’ time too.
Hay’s claim that he’s been left unconvinced by Rodrigo and whether he’s the “right player for this team or this system” is a very worrying take, and is one that might leave Andrea Radrizzani livid.
The Leeds supremo would no doubt have expected that the money being invested into the club on new signings is well thought out, but if the verdict now is that Rodrigo may not fit the bill for Bielsa, then that’s a damning indictment of the kind of recruitment work at Elland Road.
Meanwhile, Leeds have suffered another injury setback…