Real Madrid forward Rodrygo is enduring one of the toughest spells in his still-fledgling career.
The 22 year old enjoyed an excellent 2022/23 season with a career best tally of 19 goals in all competitions. However the departure of Karim Benzema and signing of Jude Bellingham has prompted a shift in system at the Bernabeu, with Rodrygo now required to operate as a central striker rather than off the right flank.
Struggling for goals, he’s been openly critical of the position he is being used in, and several Premier League clubs are believed to be keeping a close eye on the situation, with a view to a possible Rodrygo transfer next summer.
Rodrygo stats 2023/24 – Unhappy in the middle
Rodrygo’s stats so far this season make for grim reading. He has appeared in all nine of his club’s league games, starting seven of them, but has only managed one goal. Meanwhile, Bellingham has lived up to his billing as Real Madrid’s main summer signing, netting 8 times to date.
Including Champions League games, Rodrygo has now gone 10 club matches without a goal, despite playing in a position that should theoretically serve up more chances than was the case last term.
He was left out of the team for the recent 4-0 win over Osasuna too, and currently appears to have lost his place in Real Madrid’s best starting XI to Joselu, who was initially just a stop-gap signing to replace Benzema.
The Brazilian is clearly unhappy with his current plight and has stated: “I simply don’t like playing as a 9”.
Will Rodrygo leave Real Madrid?
Despite his struggles, there is little prospect of Rodrygo leaving Real Madrid in January. Benzema’s sudden departure and the club’s failure to land long-term target Kylian Mbappe in the summer leaves Carlo Ancelotti a bit short on attacking options, and they won’t want to lose a proven match winner like Rodrygo midway through the campaign.
Next summer, the story could be different though. The club are sure to reignite their interest in Mbappe and should the Frenchman finally arrive at the Santiago Bernabeu, it’s questionable whether a front three of Vini Junior, Mbappe and Rodrygo would offer the right kind of balance.
Of the two young Brazilians, Rodrygo would most likely be seen as more disposable and Los Blancos may welcome the opportunity to bring in significant funds to help finance the Mbappe deal and potentially others.
According to reports in Spain, four Premier League clubs are monitoring the situation closely, and Real Madrid may be willing to consider offers in the region of €100m next summer. Those clubs are believed to be Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal.
Rodrygo has already made a big impression against English clubs on key Champions League nights. He netted a late brace to rescue Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the 2021/22 competition against Manchester City, while he scored twice in the away leg against Chelsea last season in the quarter-finals.
A chance to play regularly in his preferred position as a right sided forward would most likely appeal most to Rodrgyo, who has emerged as a potential successor to Mo Salah, should the Egyptian depart Anfield in 2024.