Rene Maric has suggested – in comments reported by Leeds Live – that Rodrigo felt some tightness ahead of Leeds United’s friendly with Monaco, hence why he was not risked against the Ligue 1 side on Wednesday.
The Whites lost their final friendly before they return to Premier League action next week. A 10-minute period of madness saw Leeds go from being level at 1-1 at half-time to being 4-1 down. A late Joe Gelhardt penalty gave the scoreline more respectability.
Jesse Marsch’s men certainly were not at full strength. Illan Meslier remains out with illness. Meanwhile, Liam Cooper was also absent. And Tyler Adams will miss the game against Manchester City due to suspension.
Maric explains Rodrigo absence against Monaco
But there was also some concerning news further forward when the lineup was announced. Rodrigo was nowhere to be seen.
The Spaniard is our top goalscorer and scored the winner against Real Sociedad last time out. And with Patrick Bamford almost a forgotten man at this point, the last thing we need is for Rodrigo to be missing for any length of time.
Following the game, Maric has now explained that Rodrigo felt some tightness (via Leeds Live). And thus, he was not risked.
In truth, our expectations are incredibly low ahead of the clash with Manchester City. We have not been in the best form over the last few months. And the performances in the mid-season friendlies have been very mixed.
So perhaps we may not see Rodrigo have his busiest afternoon if he plays against the Cityzens anyway. But there is no doubt that not having him for the game would be a big blow.
Leeds were crying out for a striker against Monaco. Gelhardt has had a tough season and is still working his way back into form.
Rodrigo has been heavily criticised. But he has been one of our best players this season. So we will be keeping everything crossed that he is ready by the time we take on City.