Marcelo Bielsa has offered Rodrigo Moreno further assurances about his role for Leeds United after the Spain forward rubbished speculation suggesting he wanted to leave.
The 30-year-old arrived in West Yorkshire last summer as the Whites’ record signing. A regular Spain international, his status and fee gave the club exciting hope about their new player. However, Rodrigo has largely struggled to make the impact many had hoped in his first season.
The attacker suffered a groin injury in January, following on from a positive coronavirus test.
As such, he has managed three goals and one assists in 22 appearances in all competitions.
Reports over the international break claimed Rodrigo was looking to leave Leeds, with Sevilla and Real Betis keen.
Bielsa is also unequivocal over Rodrigo’s future and insists the best is still to come for him at Leeds.
“He arrived in his best version. He was at his best level prior to his injury at Leicester,” Bielsa told a press conference on Thursday. “The level he was at during that period was a very good one. What he was giving to the team with the way he can unbalance an opponent was all very positive.
“For me, Rodrigo has already shown how important he can be to Leeds. Already justified with the abilities he has and his transfer fee. We hope to have him healthy for a considerable amount of time.
“If this happens he will be able to show his ability very quickly. For me, it’s very difficult to obtain a player of his qualities in football at the moment. What happens is when a player goes a period without playing it’s difficult to absorb.”
Rodrigo available to face Sheffield United
Rodrigo has also been given a clean bill of health to return to action for Leeds in Saturday’s game against Sheffield United.
The good news does not stop there either, with Liam Cooper, Robin Koch and Pablo Hernandez also back in contention.
Leeds, arguably, are at their strongest they’ve been all season with only Mateusz Klich (positive coronavirus test) doubtful. Checks, however, will be made on those Leeds players who’ve been on international duty.
“We have no injury issues. The group is healthy and both Rodrigo and Hernandez are healthy too,” Bielsa said, before adding they make, however, lack match fitness. “Difference between ideal fitness and the time you have been out.”
Talking about their hopes for the remainder of the season, Bielsa added: There is still a lot to play for and a lot to show. Every game at this level is a test.
“The objectives are always linked to imposing yourselves in the next game. Whatever the position in the table. There’s no position in the table that exempts you from exerting less effort.”