By Noel Whelan

3rd Aug, 2022 | 1:46pm

Leeds United employee shares 'next level' Rodrigo claim after what he's seen

Noel Whelan has suggested there is more to come from Leeds United ace Rodrigo this season after his pre-season success.

The former Whites striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, hopes the 31-year-old can “go to the next level” in his third season at Elland Road.

Rodrigo scored a hattrick as Leeds United beat Cagliari 6-2 in their final pre-season game at Elland Road on Sunday (31 July).

The Spain international linked up well with strike partner Patrick Bamford and new signing Brenden Aaronson as the Whites concluded their warm-up matches.

Rodrigo’s three-goal haul means he notched five goals in as many games during pre-season.

The former Valencia forward managed just six league strikes in 2021-22 as Leeds United narrowly avoided relegation.

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Whelan suggested Jesse Marsch is trying to transform Rodrigo’s role after a muted first two seasons in Yorkshire.

He told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury: “He’s a player that needs to be involved constantly.

“That’s what Jesse Marsch is trying to doget him on the ball, get him linking up, show that quality he has.

“He scored three against Cagliari, and he could have had six. That just comes from him taking up very good positions and being there at the right time.

“He’s a player who is very invaluable to Leeds, but I still don’t think we’ve seen the best of him.

“We’ve seen glimpses, but hopefully this season he can go to the next level.”

Rodrigo cost Leeds United a reported £26million fee in 2020 – a then club-record outlay.

The Whites face Wolves on Saturday (6 August) in their first match of the 2022-23 campaign.

In other news, Football Insider reveals Leeds United stance on Sam Greenwood loan after deal agreed.