Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa has confirmed that club-record signing Rodrigo was substituted off at half-time against West Brom on Saturday for tactical reasons.
The Whites spent £26million (BBC) to sign the Valencia centre-forward this summer and he was a late addition to the starting XI against West Brom following an injury to Pablo Hernandez in the warm up.
He was though pulled off at half-time by Bielsa and it was tactical rather than for an injury problem.
Leeds were 2-1 ahead at half-time at Elland Road and the fixture finished 4-3 in a dramatic Premier League game that earned them their first points of the season.
Rodrigo was used off the bench last weekend in the opening day defeat to Liverpool, while in midweek he completed 90 minutes in the Carabao Cup loss to Hull City.
Bielsa explained in his post-match interview that the 29-year-old was perhaps suffering from the minutes in his legs and felt he lacked energy.
“Rodrigo was a tactical change .I was under the impression that he lacked a bit of energy to show his qualities,” Bielsa said, as quoted by Leeds Live.
“I think that has something to do with the physical effort he used against Hull. That’s why I decided to sub him. From a physical standpoint it was a very hard game for our attackers.”
Rodrigo can be allowed some slack for a slow start as he adjusts to life in England, plus he’s got to make the transition from La Liga football to the fast-pace of the Premier League.
The Spain international will need to get up to full speed quickly though, as teammate and striker rival Patrick Bamford has now scored two in two in the league.
Rodrigo needs time to try adjust to the specific Bielsa system and the manager has shown he won’t do the club-record player any favours.
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