Rodrigo has made a disappointing start to the season and needs to improve rapidly to show why Leeds United made him their club record signing, according to JustJoe Football Show presenter Joe Wainman.
What happened in Rodrigo’s first season at Leeds?
Rodrigo made the move to Elland Road after Leeds agreed a club record £26million fee with La Liga side Valencia 13 months ago.
It is Rodrigo’s second taste of English football, having scored just one goal in 21 appearances during a stint with Bolton Wanderers in the early stages of his career.
But, having gone on to score 59 goals and record 41 assists in 220 appearances for Valencia, Leeds fans hoped that Rodrigo would be more prolific on his return to the Premier League.
However, the Spain international scored just seven first-team goals during his first campaign under Whites boss Marcelo Bielsa and was restricted to 28 outings.
What has Joe Wainman said about Rodrigo?
Rodrigo, who penned a four-year deal worth £57,692-per-week when he joined Leeds, has failed to live up to former All Leeds TV anchorman Wainman’s expectations.
However, he is still hopeful of seeing the attacker’s fortunes turn around in the not-too-distant future and maintains Rodrigo should not be viewed as a poor player because of his difficulties in adapting to life at Leeds.
He told GMS: “I think Rodrigo is one that is a little bit disappointing. He came in last season but hadn’t had a full pre-season and then got Covid.
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“Normally, under Bielsa, a player progresses second time around but I just see the same player as last season.
“I really want him to do well because he is a great player and, technically, he is fantastic. You don’t lead the line for Spain if you’re a poor player.
“I’m just seeing the same as last season and I was hoping he would progress. I hope it works out because he is our record signing.”
Has Rodrigo shown any signs of improvement?
Bielsa has continued to back Rodrigo during the early stages of the campaign, handing the former Benfica man four starts across all competitions.
But he has failed to repay Bielsa with goals, with him failing to hit the back of the net or register an assist, and Leeds fans are entitled to expect more from their club record signing who also boasts 25 Spain caps at international level.
Rodrigo’s failure to take advantage of the opportunities which have come his way could finally prove costly following the £25million arrival of Dan James from Manchester United on transfer deadline day.