McLeish excited about Rodrigo return after Leeds training ground image emerges

Leeds United have missed Rodrigo Moreno’s “really strong mentality” during his injury layoff, according to Alex McLeish.

The former Aston Villa and Scotland manager, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 29-year-old’s experience and quality had been a notable absence and his return would be a big boost for the Whites.

The Spain international has missed Leeds’ last three games and Bielsa has ruled him out of Friday night’s clash against Wolves.

However, he posted pictures via his personal Instagram that showed him back in training at their Thorp Arch headquarters earlier in the week.

Rodrigo, who was signed from Valencia for an initial £27million plus add-ons, has played 20 times and scored three goals since his move to Elland Road.

Despite having played regularly as a centre-forward for both club and country in the past, Marcelo Bielsa has used the 25-cap international as an attacking midfielder behind Patrick Bamford.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

McLeish suggested Leeds had missed not only Rodrigo’s footballing ability during his absence but also the forward’s strong mentality and confidence.

Asked if it was a big boost to see Rodrigo back on the training ground, McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: Yeah, it is. The Spanish players, by and large over the last 15, 20 years maybe, have increased their quality factor.

“They’ve increased their mentality factor and the confidence that the individuals have, as far as I’m aware, with the influx of the Spanish guys, the Spanish players, coming to the England or moving to other clubs.

“He seems to have a really strong mentality and it will be great for Leeds to have him back.”

Rodrigo netted his first goal for Leeds against Manchester City back in October, while he also found the back of the net against Newcastle United and West Brom.

With the Spaniard out of action, Bielsa has pushed Stuart Dallas, who has played primarily as a left-back this season, into the midfield alongside Mateusz Klich.

In other news, Leeds United have been backed to unleash their Soucek “secret weapon”.