Leeds United employee urges Rodrigo shakeup after Marsch reveal

By Noel Whelan

9th Apr, 2022 | 8:00am

Leeds United employee issues divisive Rodrigo claim after training reveal

Noel Whelan has urged Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch to start Rodrigo Moreno as a centre-forward in place of Dan James against Watford.

The former Leeds striker and club ambassador, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 31-year-old is a more natural striker than the Wales winger.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Thursday (7 April), Jesse Marsch revealed Joe Gelhardt has missed training most of the week after picking up an injury playing for the under-23s.

The 19-year-old may be fit enough to make the matchday squad but appears unlikely to start.

James led the line in the absence of any other senior strikers against Southampton last week.

However, Whelan suggested Rodrigo should be given the nod up front at Vicarage Road.

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“I would much rather see Rodrigo play that centre-forward role,” Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.

“That may contrast what other people may think.

“But I think when you’re looking for a more natural number nine, the more natural movement, the more natural hold up of a ballplayer, you’ve got to go with Rodrigo.

“He’s played it more times than Dan James. He’s played it for Spain in the natonal side, he’s played it for Leeds United at times. I would like to see that happen.

“I think it’s very difficult to move out from the wide area and try to play a centre-forward role. It’s a very specified kind of role. You’re facing your own goal for probably about 70 per cent of the game.

“You’re having to hold up the ball, you’re having to make different kinds of runs. I think Rodrigo would be better there and maybe Klich just in behind him.

“At least that way you’re giving yourself two natural wingers out wide. You’ve got Harrison, who scored in the last game and Raphinha on the opposite side.

“Then Dan James later on in the game, with that pace and direct style that he has, may be able to hurt Watford.”

In other news, Jesse Marsch has been tipped to “do a Bielsa” after injury update.