Rodrigo is struggling to adapt to life at Leeds United and could lose his spot in the Spain squad as a result, according to AS.
The Spanish news outlet reports that Rodrigo, 29, is “having a hard time adjusting” to play in a new league and also in a new position after arriving at Elland Road from Valencia in the summer for a club-record £26million.
AS adds that while Marcelo Bielsa trusts the Brazil-born Spain international, he is “lost in the cold of Leeds” and having a difficult time at the Premier League club.
Club v country? Bielsa won’t care
If Rodrigo feels as though his spot in the Spain squad is under threat because he’s not being played as a striker then he will have to take that up with Bielsa.
It’s not his fault Patrick Bamford has started the season so well and at least Bielsa is giving him game-time.
Rodrigo hasn’t played as much as we would have thought after his record move to Yorkshire in August with the Spaniard starting just four matches in the Premier League. He has, however, played in every game he’s been available for, coming off the bench a further six times.
And if his heatmaps from the last two seasons [Wyscout] are anything to go by, the concerns about him not playing as a striker don’t add up.
As you can see from his heatmap at Valencia last season, Rodrigo spent a lot of his game-time playing out wide on the right. At Leeds this season, it is hard to tell but the most heat comes just outside the six-yard box and at the edge of the D.
Rodrigo’s playing well when he does play.
Stats by Wyscout show he’s completed 55.6 per cent of his passes into the penalty area this season and 38.9 per cent of his shots are on target.
With Bielsa in charge, you’re going to create and be able to score a lot of chances so Rodrigo’s time will come for him to start getting goals and assists more often.
But the game-time is perhaps the biggest threat to his spot in the Spain side.
In other Leeds United news, here’s what fans said about Pablo Hernandez’s display for the Under-23s on Sunday.