Leeds: Phil Hay urges Whites to hand Rodrigo a new contract
Phil Hay has admitted he would be tempted to hand Rodrigo the chance to extend his Leeds United stay.
The Lowdown: Finally found his feet and form
Rodrigo had struggled for form and to justify his £26 million price tag prior to this season managing just 13 league goals for Leeds, but this season under Jesse Marsch was totally different for the Spaniard.
The forward is the club’s top scorer with 12 goals to his name in all competitions but has been plagued by injury as of late having not stepped onto the pitch since January 28, so is yet to work with new boss Javi Gracia.
However, given the lack of goals and good performances from the likes of Patrick Bamford and Georginio Rutter during his short stint at Elland Road so far, Leeds are very dependent on Rodrigo’s goals.
The Latest: Rodrigo could sign a new contract
Hay has claimed on The Phil Hay Show that Leeds could well look to offer Rodrigo a new deal if he does manage to refind his form post-injury under Gracia as he’s been dependable this term.
He said: (47:15) “I think he would even say himself that he’s been better this season than he has been in the previous two and at this stage, he’s starting to get into the latter stages of his contract.
“I actually think I’d be quite tempted to extend it if he carries on playing like this.”
The Verdict: New contract must be on sensible terms
Given that Rodrigo is set to turn 32 later this month and pushing on into the twilight years of his career, a new deal could be tricky to negotiate as Leeds wouldn’t want to be trapped into a long-term contract, whereas the striker would likely want reassurances which would be understandable as he’d want a final big payday and also because he’s been ‘excellent‘ this term.
Rodrigo has indeed been Leeds’ best player this season with 12 goals across all competitions and the Whites have certainly become dependent on him as they’ve won just one game when he hasn’t been starting.
The Spaniard may be keen to extend his stay if Gracia is afforded the job on a long-term basis and also if Leeds maintain their top-flight status because if they drop into the Championship there will be next to no chance that he’s eager on playing in the second-tier of English football.