By Nnamdi Onyeagwara

24th Aug, 2022 | 6:10am

Influential in attack, pressing more - Rodrigo has finally arrived at Leeds

Leeds forward Rodrigo has had a fantastic start to the season, scoring four goals in three games and leading the Premier League’s top scorer chart.

The 31-year-old, who joined the club in 2020, looks like a different player from the man who has failed to justify his huge price tag for the last two years.

His performance against Chelsea highlighted the change in his attitude and if he continues this scintillating form, he could become a huge asset for the club this season.

But what has changed with the Spaniard this season, and how does it compare to the Rodrigo we have seen for the past two years?

The New Rodrigo.

The first notable change in the Spaniard’s game has been where he has been deployed by Jesse Marsch, compared to where he was featuring for the club in the first two years of his Leeds career.

The 31-year-old started the season in an attacking midfield role, playing just behind Patrick Bamford and between Brenden Aaronson and Jack Harrison.

This has worked to his benefit as he has excelled in making runs from deeper positions, getting into the box and getting onto the end of crosses to finish chances.

However, the Leeds record-signing led the line against Chelsea, and did so in a manner that Leeds fans may not have seen before, showing endless energy, experience, and emotive leadership.

There has been a change in playing style as the former Valencia man is now running harder, pressing with more intensity, and creating more scoring opportunities.

His goal-scoring actions have increased by 57%, his successful pressures have increased by 5.3% as well as his aerial duels, which have increased by 6.2%. [FBref]

Simply put, Rodrigo is working immensely and has taken on the attacking burden that Raphinha left behind when he joined Barcelona earlier in the window.

Watching Rodrigo this season has been a pleasant surprise, and if he can continue the form he is currently on, it will go a long way to justifying the club breaking their transfer record to sign him in 2020.

In other Leeds news, the club are in talks with Newcastle over a move for Jack Harrison.