Former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan has urged Whites forward Rodrigo to have a strong pre-season this summer so he can kick on in his second campaign at Elland Road.
The Lowdown: Rodrigo endures tough first season
The Spaniard arrived for a club-record fee of £27million last summer, joining from La Liga giants Valencia.
The Latest: Pundit makes plea to forward
The hope is that the 30-year-old finds another level in 2021/22, but a productive pre-season will be required if that is to happen.
“Rodrigo is a very important part of this team.
“He is a bit older than some of the players there. When you are older it is vital that you get through pre-season to make sure you are at the top of your game.
“You need to get your fitness levels right, especially when you play in Marcelo Bielsa side which is very fitness-based.
“It was a bit stop and start for him last season. I think being in Spain’s training camp ahead of the Euros will have done him the world of good as will the way he finished last season.
“Sometimes it takes players a season to feel bedded in. It must’ve been difficult moving to another country last year. You only feel happy when you are playing football and he spent a lot of time on the sidelines.
“The whole club hope he can have a strong pre-season and then hit the ground running against Manchester United. He showed how important he is. He also brings so much experience to the side.”
The Verdict: Big season ahead?
Rodrigo ended last season well, scoring four goals and registering one assist in the last four Premier League games, which bodes well for the coming campaign.
Now is the time for him to fully prove his worth, however, showing Marcelo Bielsa that he should be a regular starter moving forward.
A good summer would only be a good thing in that respect, allowing Rodrigo to strut into the new campaign full of confidence and more importantly with a high level of fitness.
In other news, Leeds have been linked with a move for a Ligue 1 player this summer. Find out who it is here.
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