Chris Kelly has been speaking on the All Leeds TV YouTube channel about how he doesn’t see Rodrigo as a number 10.
The Spaniard arrived last summer from Valencia for a club-record fee of £27 million, however, despite being a natural centre forward for most of his career, Marcelo Bielsa has seemingly shoehorned him into an attacking midfielder or second striker off Patrick Bamford.
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Therefore, this has led to a poor return in front of goal considering his price tag with zero goals or assists so far this campaign and last season saw seven goals and 14 starts in the league, as he struggled to dislodge Bamford from the main striker role.
Kelly spoke about how Rodrigo isn’t a natural number 10.
(06:47) “I’ve said it before I’m going to say it again, I don’t like Rodrigo in that 10 position we’ve seen last season he’s a striker for me. Yes, not at the minute he’s going to get in front of Bamford, but bring him on for the last 20 if you know what I mean like, like we did vs Burnley last season.
“Let him go at tight defences and get his goals [and] get his confidence up, I just don’t see a number 10 in him. I just don’t see a 10, I’d rather and this is just an opinion. I’m not the manager, I’m not Marcelo Bielsa, I’d rather see Rapha [Raphinha] as a 10, I think he’s got more energy about him, I think he presses better.”
TIF Thoughts on Rodrigo…
Having arrived with a hefty price tag, especially for a newly-promoted side but given that they already had Bamford, who was clearly a trusted member of Bielsa’s squad from their time in the Championship, it appeared to be a lot of money to shell out for someone who wouldn’t naturally always start.
There had been reports over the summer that Rodrigo was attracting interest from back in his homeland of Spain in the form of Barcelona, though their financial situation put a stop to that deal coming close to happening and this season will be a big one for Rodrigo as he now potentially has a fight with Raphinha on his hands for the attacking midfielder role if Daniel James will be playing out wide.