Leeds United forward Rodrigo will give the team a ‘massive lift’ when he returns from injury, Pete O’Rourke has told GiveMeSport.
Rodrigo dislocated his shoulder in the first half of the 1-1 draw with Everton at the end of August.
He’d started all five of Leeds’ games up to that point, scoring four goals, but missed the 5-2 defeat against Brentford earlier this month.
Jesse Marsch’s side have the weekend off after their game against Manchester United was postponed.
The manager said that, because Rodrigo has avoided surgery, Leeds are targeting the period after the international break for his comeback.
O’Rourke says Leeds can use their extended break to reintegrate players who have been out injured at Thorp Arch.
And he says the return of Rodrigo in particular will be a big boost for the Whites.
He told GMS: “I don’t think anybody likes matches being called off for whatever reason, but it does allow Jesse Marsch maybe to have some players back on the training pitch getting back to full fitness.
“And Rodrigo had such a great start to the season before he dislocated his shoulder as well, so it will be a massive lift to get him back in the team.”
Rodrigo offers this side more than just goalscoring.
He can be a creative presence, ranking in the 78th percentile among forwards in the big five leagues for xG assisted and progressive passes, and he also contributes out of possession too, placing in the 84th percentile for interceptions and the 93rd for clearances (via FBRef).
Micah Richards said after his goal in the 3-0 victory over Chelsea that Rodrigo was ‘on fire’ and hailed his ‘absolutely brilliant’ work-rate.
Leeds will be looking to muster a response to their heavy loss against Brentford when they face Aston Villa at the start of October, and £58,000-per-week man Rodrigo may yet be able to help them.