Leeds: Phil Hay admits Rodrigo is hopeful of playing this weekend
Phil Hay has claimed that Rodrigo has been targeting this weekend’s game for his Leeds United first-team return.
The Lowdown: A timely return for Leeds
It’s safe to say that Leeds have been dependent on Rodrigo as their source of goals this season, with the Spaniard their top scorer with 10 strikes in the league – the next closest to him is Crysencio Summerville with four to his name.
Therefore, the fact that the Spaniard is back in training and that he could even be back in the squad for Leeds’ game this weekend will be a massive boost for Javi Gracia.
Rodrigo appears to be ageing like a fine wine as he’s now 32 years old but is currently enjoying the best season of his Leeds career, having never netted this often in a single campaign at Elland Road.
The Latest: Rodrigo could feature this weekend
Hay dropped the positive Rodrigo injury update while speaking on the latest episode of The Phil Hay Show, which will undoubtedly have pleased fans and Gracia.
He said: “Rodrigo is pretty close and was definitely hoping to be back on this side of the international break; was crossing his fingers that it would be Brighton this weekend rather than Wolves next weekend.”
The Verdict: Leeds are desperate for a goalscorer
The fact that Leeds can clearly no longer rely on Patrick Bamford to stay fit or score goals in the Premier League – he’s got three goals since the start of last season having started 16 times – shows why getting Rodrigo back would be huge for their relegation scrap.
Leeds currently sit outside of the bottom three which will take a lot of pressure off their shoulders, but with the misfiring Georginio Rutter and an injury-prone Bamford leading the line, their chances of staying up without Rodrigo are arguably slim.
If Leeds can get Rodrigo back to full fitness and hitting the same kind of heights he did pre-injury, the Whites should be seen as one of the favourites to avoid the drop, such is the talent that the Spaniard has shown this campaign, having been labelled ‘sensational‘ and a ‘livewire‘ before he picked up his rather serious injury.