By George Overhill

14th Mar, 2023 | 12:30pm

Rodrigo absolutely livid with Leeds United teammate Brenden Aaronson vs Brighton - BBC journalist

Brenden Aaronson made Leeds United teammate Rodrigo go “mental” against Brighton by failing to pass to him, according to BBC journalist Adam Pope.

The American was the first of a summer recruitment drive that saw the fruitless pursuit of his signature from Red Bull Salzburg in the January window last season put right, and he started the season well as the Whites went unbeaten in the first three games under Jesse Marsch.

But despite racking up 25 Premier League appearances and starting more often than not, he has just one assist since the end of August and his lack of end product infuriating Rodrigo is what makes Jack Harrison more valuable according to Pope despite the winger also struggling for form.

Speaking on the Don’t Go To Bed Just Yet podcast from BBC Sport (13 March, 9m 50s) Pope said: “If it’s a choice between Harrison and Aaronson, I’m Harrison. I know he’s not had a great few weeks but Harrison’s got assists and he has goals, Aaronson has neither I’m afraid and that’s where it falls down for me.

“He’s busy, he gives everything, but he doesn’t get his head up, he doesn’t get Rodrigo down the left side.

“Rodrigo was going mental wasn’t he at the end there? He was going absolutely livid with that.”

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Off the boil

Two sharp displays to start the campaign were then capped off by a goal in the 3-0 win over Chelsea back on 21 August, but it has gradually gone down hill from there for Aaronson.

For a fee of £24.7million [Sky Sports, 26 May] his lack of output, both in terms of goal involvements (one goal, two assists) and his overall performances, aren’t the returns that would have been hoped for.

A first season in England and in the Premier League as part of a side that has struggled for consistency and found themselves battling at the bottom of the table is not the ideal circumstances to adapt quickly.

And the time it took the livid Rodrigo to shed his big-money flop tag and become the Whites’ top scorer is perhaps reason to reserve judgement on the American for now.

But he was brought in as a former Marsch charge and was supposed to help his compatriot’s chaotic style flourish but clearly that didn’t work, since the former Red Bull manager is now out of a job.

Harrison’s continued presence in the starting line-up has baffled onlookers for some time, but he did provide a goal and an assist in the 2-2 with Brighton on Saturday (11 March), albeit with a ridiculous own-goal at the other end, to take his total to two goals and six assists in the Premier League.

That half of each total also came in that three-game run at the start of the campaign where Aaronson was looking good shows that the club have been struggling to get a tune out of two regular starters for some time, but Harrison has also scored once and assisted three more in the FA Cup, where Aaronson has registered nothing in four outings.

There is an argument that both haven’t done enough to start for a while, but if Harrison can come up with key moments like he did at Elland Road this weekend he is more likely to keep his place, while it is harder to see what his teammate is offering at the moment.

In other Leeds United news, the club are in line to lose a regular starter for a reduced fee as they follow the same pattern as before.

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