Having narrowly avoided relegation last season, with a final day victory at Brentford, many heroes were made last season at Leeds United.
However, many villains were also created, none more so than their club record fee signing Rodrigo Moreno.
Signed for a reported £26m fee upon their promotion to the Premier League, the Spaniard was set to be the Whites’ marquee signing to help them adjust to life in the top flight.
Whilst Leeds enjoyed a fine return season, with a respectable ninth-placed finish, last season was not so kind to the Yorkshire outfit. As injuries ravaged their side, they needed their big-money signings to step up. Unfortunately for them, Rodrigo did not.
It is therefore unsurprising to see him record an underwhelming 6.8 average SofaScore rating, whilst recording a 6.4 rating or under in three of his final four league fixtures, when it really mattered.
His underlying stats also make for a damning assessment, as his non-penalty goals of 0.20 per 90, his shot-creating actions of 2.90 per 90, and most importantly for his club, his 16.57 pressures per 90, all see him ranked poorly amongst those in his position. Not only did he lack creativity, but he was also not buying into the system.
It is these performances that led former Premier League striker Kevin Phillips dubbing the forward a “disappointing” transfer.
He went on to say: “His performances haven’t justified the amount they spent on him. It was a lot of money.”
Compared to Bamford from 2020/21, who recorded 25 goal contributions in the league, Rodrigo admittedly was going to struggle to compete with those numbers. However, regressing from his nine goal contributions last season, in a year when the pressure has been intensified on him, it appears he wilted.
Not only was the initial financial outlay huge for Leeds, he is currently the second highest-paid player at the club, earning a reported £57k-per-week.
Combining his annual salary of £3m, over the two years he has spent at the club, with his initial transfer fee, makes for a total £32m expense – and counting – for a Leeds side that have only recently recovered from 16 years in the Football League.
It is therefore even more disheartening to see his Transfermarkt valuation drop as low as £13.5m, further outlining his regression in west Yorkshire.
Rodrigo hid when Leeds needed him most, and has a lot of explaining to do under Marsch next season. If he cannot reach the heights of his Valencia days, perhaps the Whites will look to recoup whatever they can for their club-record signing.