Stan Collymore has raised the pressure on Leeds United’s new record signing Rodrigo, claiming that the striker must deliver in the Premier League for the Whites.
Leeds have paid an initial club-record fee worth £26million for Rodrigo, who is bound to spearhead Marcelo Bielsa’s attack for the bulk of the upcoming Premier League season.
Critics have regularly pointed to the fact that the Spain international scored just four La Liga goals in 27 appearances for Valencia last season.
But Collymore is hopeful that he can score at least eight in the business end of the upcoming campaign to help Leeds avoid relegation and prove that he is worth the money the Yorkshire giants paid for him.
“Strikers win matches, it’s as simple as that, and none of the rest of it really matters if you can’t put the ball in the net,” Collymore said, as shown on the Mirror website.
“I want to see Rodrgio being aggressive and winning the ball back high up the pitch.
“I want to see him served with crosses and little through-balls, and I want to see him scoring goals when it really counts.
“By that, I mean in January, February and March, because there will be plenty of strikers who start the season well.
“But if you can do it in the mid-winter into early spring then it can make all the difference.
“If Rodrigo can get eight to 10 goals in that period then Leeds will take vital points.
“He has a big price-tag, he has been at a big club already in Valencia and now he needs to deliver in the Premier League.”
Rodrigo scored seven goals in 34 appearances across all competitions last season but he was still a key part of the Valencia attack by supplying 11 assists.
If Collymore had watched Leeds last season he would understand that Marcelo Bielsa’s system does not entirely rely on a main man up front who sticks the ball in the back of the net.
Patrick Bamford’s goalscoring record was criticised last term with the Leeds United forward scoring 16 goals in 45 Championship appearances but those who defended him pointed to the fact that his link-up play is far more important than his goalscoring record.
Every time a club is promoted to the Premier League, people look at the strikers and say they must score around 12 or more goals to help avoid instant relegation.
But last season, Newcastle, Crystal Palace, Brighton, West Ham and Aston Villa all managed to secure safety without having a prolific striker in their side.
In fact, out of last season’s bottom eight clubs, Teemu Pukki was the highest-scoring player with 11 goals for Norwich, who finished bottom.
The need for a prolific goalscorer to avoid relegation is a bit of a myth based on last season.
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