Leeds: £100k-a-week star could now provide ‘massive lift’ at Elland Road

Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch after Everton game

Leeds United will receive a ‘massive boost’ when in-form attacker Rodrigo returns from injury, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

The 31-year-old made an outstanding start to the season but has been sidelined in recent weeks after dislocating his shoulder in the 1-1 draw with Everton last month.

What is the latest news involving Rodrigo?

Rodrigo missed Leeds’ trip to face Brentford at the start of September and his presence on the pitch was clearly missed as his side were thrashed 5-2.

However, the west Yorkshire outfit’s recent fixture against Nottingham Forest was postponed as a mark of respect following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II while their trip to bitter rivals Manchester United was also delayed due to police shortages.

And the fixture schedule means that Rodrigo may not miss any further matches due to the upcoming international break.

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“An update on Rodrigo – when it pops out, it’s about as good a case scenario as possible,” said Leeds manager Jesse Marsch. “That means that it doesn’t need surgery and that hopefully in three to four weeks it can calm down.

“Maybe it takes a little bit longer, maybe it’s a little bit shorter. We will see. He feels good, he feels confident that he will be ready fairly soon so we’re kind of targeting after the international break.”

What has O’Rourke said about Rodrigo?

O’Rourke doesn’t believe ‘anyone likes matches being called off’ but that the extra time it will allow Rodrigo to recover could be a silver lining.

He told GiveMeSport: “I don’t think anybody likes matches being called off for whatever reason, but it does allow Jesse Marsch maybe to have some players back on the training pitch getting back to full fitness.

“And Rodrigo had such a great start to the season before he dislocated his shoulder as well, so it will be a massive lift to get him back in the team.”

How well did Rodrigo start the season?

Rodrigo became Leeds’ record signing when he arrived from Valencia for £26 million back in 2020, putting pen to paper on a four-year contract worth £100,000-per-week.

Nevertheless, the Spaniard struggled to settle at Elland Road and registered just 16 goal contributions in 57 Premier League appearances throughout his first two seasons for the club.

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But Rodrigo was back to his scintillating best in the opening weeks of the current campaign, racking up four goals and one assist in just five top-flight fixtures.  

Marsch will surely be desperate to get Rodrigo back on the pitch as soon as possible, and Leeds may well have actually profited from their recent fixture schedule setback.

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