Conor McGilligan has been speaking on the One Leeds Fan YouTube channel about the problem being caused by Rodrigo.
Leeds United splashed out a record transfer fee on Rodrigo last summer to bring him from Valencia back to the Premier League for his second stint in English football, but after several injuries and being played in different positions during his time at Elland Road, he failed to make a big enough impression last season with just seven league goals.
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Marcelo Bielsa’s unwillingness to remove Rodrigo from the starting lineup, despite just one goal from open play in the Premier League, coupled with missing a sitter against Fulham in the Carabao Cup, could be a big reason why Leeds are struggling so much this campaign.
McGilligan has been speaking about how playing Rodrigo is causing Leeds a lot of problems.
“I think the big problem that we’re seeing now with Rodrigo – and I think Bielsa is very stubborn in the fact that he wants Rodrigo to work in that eight – we’ve seen a massive gap between Kalvin Phillips, who almost sits on the defender’s toes to Rodrigo, who essentially forms a shadow striker when he’s in that role, which we saw against Norwich.
“[So we need] someone who can break between the lines, which is what Leeds have been missing.”
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Despite spending the majority of his career playing as a striker, Rodrigo looks very much far from an out-and-out attacker having managed just eight shots on target in 10 league appearances this season, and that’s even when he’s started more matches without Bamford, who is usually the main goalscorer.
Bielsa seemingly trusts Rodrigo to carry out instructions and tactics while still not scoring, but as McGilligan highlighted, the Argentine’s stubbornness to not freshen things up and put out-of-form players on the bench could be the difference between Leeds being in a season-long survival battle and pulling away from the threat of relegation.