Speaking on The Phil Hay Show, the Athletic journalist has admitted that he’d like to see Rodrigo deployed as a striker at Leeds United.
There may have to be several players moved about for Leeds’ match against West Ham United this weekend, with Patrick Bamford definitely set to miss out and both Raphinha and Jack Harrison doubts – with the latter having already missed their last two games.
Will Rodrigo come good at Leeds?
It would be the natural and almost sensible thing for Marcelo Bielsa to do by replacing Bamford with Rodrigo, given that the striker has played regularly as a centre-forward during his career, however, considering that he remained in his attacking-midfielder role for the game against Fulham as Tyler Roberts was trusted to lead the line, that may well be how Leeds line up against the Hammers.
Hay spoke about what he would do with Rodrigo against West Ham.
“I think I’d be tempted to do that as well – to have Rodrigo up front and then to have [Mateusz] Klich and [Stuart] Dallas both in the midfield, assuming that Forshaw isn’t ready for 90 [minutes], or Bielsa doesn’t want to throw him in.
“I would think that the combination of Klich and Dallas could be very helpful, but as you say, Bielsa will follow his own mind and if it is Roberts up front and Rodrigo in behind, it won’t be a surprise at all.”
TIF Thoughts on Rodrigo…
There have been more positive signs from Rodrigo in recent weeks, as he had a huge hand in Raphinha’s goal against Newcastle United, with the Spaniard’s dummy over the ball seeing the ball bend past Karl Darlow. Meanwhile, against Fulham, although he did miss a great chance, just him getting into those positions will be positive for Bielsa.
It appears clear that Rodrigo could do with a goal to boost his confidence as he’s still yet to get off the mark this term, and this poor run of personal form has coincided with the club struggling on the pitch – with last season’s ninth-placed team still yet to pick up their first three points. Perhaps heeding Hay’s advice will change that, but it appears the journalist is not holding his breath.