Rodrigo hasn’t been the signing we expected at Leeds United.
When the Whites signed Spain’s number nine from Valencia for a club-record fee in August, many thought that the 29-year-old would replace Patrick Bamford as Marcelo Bielsa’s starting striker.
However, with the business end of the season on the horizon, Rodrigo is yet to start a Premier League fixture up front for Leeds, with Bamford retaining his spot and lighting up the goalscoring charts with his sensational form.
Rodrigo’s mainly been used in Bielsa’s midfield and while the Spaniard has just three goals and one assist in 18 Premier League appearances, his role in the side is absolutely vital.
Since joining Leeds, Rodrigo has missed six league matches due to a positive COVID test earlier in the season and a recent groin injury. Out of those six matches, Leeds have won one and lost five.
We want to see Rodrigo given more time to shine at Elland Road and show why he was brought in for £26million in the summer.
However, a recent report from Italy has linked the ex-Valencia man with a shock exit from Elland Road with CalcioMercatoWeb claiming Juventus want to sign him in exchange for Douglas Costa.
Costa, 30, is currently on loan at Bayern Munich but it is understood the Brazilian will return to Juventus at the end of the season.
Bielsa is reportedly a keen admirer of the former Shakhtar Donetsk attacker and he’s valued at £21.5million by Juventus.
According to CalcioMercatoWeb, “the equal exchange would be ideal for everyone from an economic point of view and also from the technical point of view”.
It is bizarre the Italian media would report this.
Not only is that £21.5million a lot lower than what Leeds paid for Rodrigo, why would they give up on the Spain international after a year when Costa turns 31 as next season begins?
While Rodrigo isn’t a young player and turns 30 next month, he’s someone with a bit more resale value than Costa, so we don’t see how the deal makes sense financially.
In terms of the football, we’ve already mentioned how Rodrigo has proven vital to Leeds this season with United looking a far better team with him in their midfield than without him.
It’s an odd report linking Rodrigo with a move away from West Yorkshire and we really fail to see how a swap deal like that could happen unless Leeds are offered cash plus Costa.
In other Leeds United news, Elland Road was snuck into Sky News’ coverage of the new COVID update.