Phil Hay reveals what Leeds United insiders say about Rodrigo
Phil Hay has been told that despite the way he might come across, Rodrigo is committed to Leeds United and does care for the club.
Rodrigo, 31, became Leeds’ record signing in 2020 when he joined from Valencia for £27million and signed a £100,000-a-week contract [The Times].
However, it simply hasn’t worked out for the Spain international, who’s struggled to find his form under both Marcelo Bielsa and Jesse Marsch.
After being told that Rodrigo doesn’t look like he cares, speaking on the latest episode of The Phil Hay Show podcast on 13 May (11m31s), Hay said: “I don’t know about that.
“I never get the impression from speaking to people at the club that he doesn’t care.
“It’s kind of quite easy to draw that conclusion when it’s going badly wrong.
“But I don’t disagree with the view that I just don’t see where and how he fits.
“We’re two years into this now. He was an incredibly expensive signing by Leeds’ standards and it just hasn’t worked and nobody seems to see him as a nine, I’m not convinced he’s a 10, I don’t think he knows.
“I still get the feeling deep down that he’d much rather play up front.”
Orta’s biggest flop?
Victor Orta is a man who divides opinion at Elland Road because for every good signing like Raphinha, he has made three or four terrible signings.
Rodrigo, as blunt as this may be, falls into the terrible category.
Why? Leeds have paid a lot of money for him – more than they’ve paid for any other player in their history.
He was Spain’s number nine and a mainstay at Valencia before he arrived in West Yorkshire a couple of years ago.
Since then, he’s played 60 times in all competitions and scored just 13 goals.
Bielsa and Marsch have both played Rodrigo in deeper-lying midfield roles and have erred away from playing him up front despite that possibly being his best position.
Daniel James has been chosen ahead of him to spearhead the attack by both managers.
Is it Rodrigo’s fault that he’s flopped? Or did Orta sign a player for Bielsa who simply didn’t fit the system just so he could splash the cash on a fellow Spaniard?
Orta does deserve a lot of credit for some of this work at Elland Road – we’d have never had Bielsa as manager if it wasn’t for him.
But he also deserves a lot of criticism and the money wasted on Rodrigo has to be up there with the worst of his mistakes as the club’s director of football.
In other Leeds United news, it is predicted that Stuart Dallas could quit Leeds in the summer.