Leeds United fell to a disappointing home defeat to Brighton on Saturday, with Rodrigo’s performance a particular low point.

The 29-year-old has had a mixed start to life at Elland Road.

He has looked fantastic at times with goals and brilliant performances against West Brom and Newcastle, but the last two games have brought up some concerns.

Against Crawley last week he looked a little lost in leading the Leeds forward line, yet he was still far from his best against Brighton despite reverting back to a familiar midfield role.

Marcelo Bielsa should take note of this and grant the Spaniard more freedom to roam further forward in order to get him back to his best.

That is where we have seen Rodrigo flourish as it allows him to make late runs into the box to get onto the end of crosses – as he did in his goals against Manchester City and Newcastle.

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Against Brighton he was unable to take up those positions, and that translated into an insipid performance.

Per SofaScore, Rodrigo failed to make a key pass and barely got involved in the hour he spent on the pitch, making just 21 touches.

That is not adequate for any Premier League midfielder, and certainly not good enough for a player in Bielsa’s system.

It is little surprise the team’s overall performance suffered as a result, despite the best efforts of his partner Mateusz Klich, who managed 71 touches and 41 successful passes compared to Rodrigo’s 11.

Improvement is clearly needed but it is difficult to see how Rodrigo improves his poor run of form, having achieved a WhoScored rating of 6.3 or below in four out of his last five league games.

It is not all doom and gloom, however.

Against Brighton Rodrigo only gave away possession eight times, and if he can be found in and around the final third he could pose more of a threat.

Bielsa, therefore, needs to work out how to achieve this, as he simply can’t keep on relying on Rodrigo to produce what we need from a deep midfield position.

If he does the summer signing will not be used to his full potential, and that would be a waste of his reported £57,000 a week wages.

In other Leeds United news, many fans were in awe at one player’s performance against the Seagulls despite the defeat.


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