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Marcelo Bielsa makes Rodrigo claim after Leeds draw

Marcelo Bielsa has labelled Rodrigo the player who shone most during Leeds United’s pre-season as he explained why the forward missed the draw with Everton, in comments reported by Leeds Live.

Rodrigo has endured another tough start to the campaign. He struggled on the opening day before being taken off at half-time.

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He was left on the bench for the clash with the Toffees at Elland Road. And with Patrick Bamford seemingly tiring as the game went on, it may have surprised some that the Spaniard was not introduced at any stage.

But Bielsa has suggested that he had not been fully fit. And he went on to outline just how impressed he has been with the 30-year-old in recent months.

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“During the week he had a slight muscular issue of which he recovered quickly. If that hadn’t happened he would’ve been our offensive midfielder in the game today,” he said, as reported by Leeds Live.

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“I have a lot of confidence in the qualities of Rodrigo. During his holidays he did physical work that was very important and during the six weeks of pre-season he’s the player who shone the most in those weeks.

“I have a lot of hopes for him that this season he’s going to show all the qualities that he has.”

Rodrigo needs to recapture form from end of last season after Bielsa praise

Leeds fans know how good Rodrigo can be. It was a mixed first campaign in Yorkshire for the forward. But he was outstanding in the final weeks of last season.

His task is to now rediscover that form as soon as possible. Of course, that may not be easy with Bamford leading the line.

But there were signs in pre-season that Bamford and Rodrigo could form a brilliant partnership.

And it would be unfair to write him off after one game at Old Trafford. A lot of attacking players will probably struggle there this season.

The pressure is on given that he is the club’s most expensive signing. But Bielsa is confident that he has the quality to silence his doubters.

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