Leeds United striker Rodrigo is unlikely to get a contract extension because of his fitness issues, according to reliable journalist Graham Smyth.
The Lowdown: Rodrigo hits form for Leeds
The Spaniard has had a hit-and-miss spell with the Whites, arriving as the club’s most expensive signing in history back in 2020 but not always matching the hype.
Even towards the end of last season, former Whites forward Noel Whelan praised the player’s improvement under the American boss, and there does appears to be a really strong relationship between the pair.
The 31-year-old’s current Leeds deal expires in the summer of 2024 though, meaning time is ticking on his long-term future at Elland Road, with next summer the time for the club to cash in if a new deal is not signed.
The Latest: New deal unlikely
Writing in a Q&A for The Yorkshire Evening Post, Smyth claimed that a new contract for Rodrigo is unlikely, despite his upturn in fortunes:
“Rodrigo will be 33 by the time his contract runs out at Elland Road. Given his issues with niggles and the fact that his first two seasons were so difficult and inconsistent, I would be surprised if there was talk of a new deal any time soon.
“He looks after himself as a model pro by all accounts but the intensity of Premier League football under Marcelo Bielsa and then Jesse Marsch will take a toll. He would be an expensive one to do, as well, and the wage bill at Leeds has already undergone a serious uplift in recent times.”
The Verdict: Right decision by Orta and Radz
While Rodrigo is flying at the moment, looking every bit the record-breaking player Leeds signed two years ago and topping their goal charts, it doesn’t make sense to extend his stay at the club.
As Smyth alludes to, he will be 33 by the time his deal runs out, and with the Spain international dogged by injuries during his time with the Whites, picking up knee, groin, heel and now shoulder problems, it would be a risky decision.
It makes complete sense for Leeds to simply enjoy these last couple of seasons of Rodrigo, labelled by , during which time he will hopefully grow his legend and match the expectations of him when he arrived.
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