Leeds United forward Rodrigo says that he plans to use the advantage of pre-season training to full effect, after missing out on last season’s preparations.
The Spain international arrived at Elland Road in late August as the club’s record signing. While he would have joined during the season under normal circumstances, the delayed start to 2020/21 because of coronavirus still did him no favours for his preparation. Indeed, he had only two weeks to settle in before the campaign began.
As a result, Rodrigo took his time to settle, even if he did earn Leeds a point against Manchester City in an early thriller.
Having come through his debut season under manager Marcelo Bielsa, though, the attacker is anticipating what a pre-season under his belt can do for his form.
“For everyone, the pre-season is really important, especially when you arrive new in a club,” he told BBC Radio Leeds.
“You have time to prepare yourself, to adapt yourself to the team.
“It’s true last season wasn’t like this, but it doesn’t matter, it was a good season also. It’s true I will have more time this year to prepare myself for the season
“I am working every day, working hard to do my best, to bring my best version and I am excited to start training with everyone and do my best this season.”
Rodrigo suffered a groin injury at the start of February. As such, he played only 99 minutes across three of the next 13 Premier League games.
What’s more, he failed to make his mark in those matches, but boss Bielsa defended his displays.
The manager insisted that Rodrigo, who also faced transfer exit speculation, would show his best talents. He did so, finishing the season with four goals and one assist in five games.
As such, next season will be crucial for the Spaniard after ending the campaign on a high.
Dallas signs new Leeds deal
Stuart Dallas is another Leeds star who finished the season on a strong note.
Having initially made his name as a full-back, the 30-year-old has transitioned into midfield excellently, scoring winning goals in the return fixture with City and in a 3-1 victory over Spurs.
The Northern Irishman has earned a new deal with the club as a result of his displays.