Pundit makes 'desperate' Rodrigo claim as Leeds handed major pre-season blow

Alan Hutton has claimed Leeds United have been dealt a blow after Rodrigo Moreno was named as backup for Spain.

The former Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted while the player will be “desperate” to play for his country, the Whites may have wanted him to rest up ahead of pre-season.

As confirmed on Monday, Rodrigo is one of four players called up as emergency contingency options after Sergio Busquets tested positive for Covid-19.

The quartet will train separately from the rest of the squad and will not enter the squad bubble at the training ground.

Hutton admitted Rodrigo may have needed a rest after a difficult first season at Elland Road.

However, he insisted the player would be thrilled to be in contention for his country.

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Hutton told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “He’s obviously had his injury problems last season. He’s been a little in and out. 

“It would have been good for him to get the rest. To come back 100 per cent and raring to go. You know the way Bielsa’s going to be in pre-season, it’s going to be difficult. I’ve never done one but I’m sure it’s going to be difficult.

“On the flip side of that, he would have been desperate to play for his country in any opportunity. Whether it be you’re on the reserve list or you’re going to train separately and they’ll see if they need you, I think any player would jump at that.

“Especially for Spain, they’re a very talented team who will obviously get a chance to go far in the tournament. He’ll want to be part of that. We know he’s a great player.

“Somebody’s downfall is another man’s game. He’ll be looking to obviously try and force his way into that squad. That’ll be his aim over the next week or so.”

Rodrigo played 28 times and scored seven goals throughout the 2020/21 campaign for Leeds.

He has not played for his country since October last year.

In other news, Romain Perraud has agreed personal terms after surprise Leeds United twist.