BIG-MONEY signing Rodrigo gave a tantalising glimpse of what Leeds United fans could expect next season with a classy double strike in the 4-0 win at Burnley on Saturday.

It’s been a frustrating season for the club record £27m purchase from Valencia much of which he has spent trying to get up to match fitness after suffering from Covid-19 and bouts of injury.

Many Whites’ supporters were questioning whether Rodrigo had what it takes to make an impression on the Premiership.

Despite Leeds holding a 2-0 lead, top scorer Patrick Bamford was replaced by Rodrigo on 58 minutes and the substitute made his mark with two outstanding finishes in three second-half minutes to kill off any hope of a Clarets comeback.

For the first he latched on to a brilliant Jack Harrison pass, producing a delightful chip over Bailey Peacock-Farrell, then collected another Harrison delivery to round the former York City loanee goalkeeper for the fourth goal.

Marcelo Bielsa was full of praise for Rodrigo and reckons there is more to come.

“He is at a very high level,” said the Leeds coach. “One of the strikers for the Spanish national team and the Spanish national team is a powerhouse. He is a player, like I said before, that takes a while to get to his full form.

“When he finally finds his full form, he is a player that is very unbalancing. I think that we saw a version of Rodrigo close to what he’s capable of.”

The standard of all four Leeds goals was top drawer.

They were set on their way shortly before half-time when Mateusz Klich drove forward from the half-way line and curled in from outside the penalty area for his first goal since December.

On the hour Ezjian Alioski drilled in a shot which drew a clever improvised flick from man-of-the-match Harrison which gave Peacock-Farrell no chance.

Clinical Leeds first had to match Burnley’s physical strength before getting the opportunity to unfurl their slick football. With the Lancashire side playing in-form duo Chris Wood and Matej Vydra up top, Bielsa pushed Luke Ayling inside to play alongside Diego Llorente and Pascal Struijk. The trio dealt well with Burnley’s aerial threat and gradually the Whites got on top of the home side.

Sean Dyche’s side were not without their chances in the second period, Illan Meslier’s outstretched leg denying Vydra with the score at 1-0 and the French keeper also kept out Johan Gudmundsson shortly before Rodrigo put the game to bed for Leeds.

Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha were both recalled by Bielsa, Phillips taking control of the game in the second half while Raphinha was involved in an interesting battle with Charlie Taylor, the York-born ex-Leeds full-back keeping the Brazilian magician relatively quiet.

Leeds have lost just one of their last nine Premier League games and show no signs of the fatigue that some critics reckon would kick in towards the end of the season because of their all-action pressing style.

Bielsa’s tight knit squad – only 19 players have made Premiership starts – are finishing as strongly as they began on their return to the top flight.

“You can verify that [we are fit] by looking at the data,” said Bielsa. “I never thought that could be the case. It would have worried me if we had finished the season in physical decline.”

After the game, Burnley boss Dyche confirmed referee Anthony Taylor’s report will be passed to the Football Association after an on-field incident involving Dwight McNeil and Alioski.

United’s quest for a top half finish resumes tomorrow (Tuesday) as they head to St Mary’s to take on Southampton (6pm) before wrapping up the season in front of a limited number of fans at Elland Road against relegated West Brom on Sunday (4pm).

Leeds United: Meslier, Ayling, Llorente, Struijk, Alioski, Phillips, Klich (Roberts 76), Dallas, Harrison, Raphinha (Poveda 81) Bamford (Rodrigo 58). Subs: Casilla, Cooper, Davis, Berardi, Jenkins, Shackleton. Caution: Phillips

Burnley: Peacock-Farrell, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor, McNeill (Gudmundsson 70), Westwood, Cork, Brownhill, Wood (Barnes 65), Vydra (Rodriguez 65). Subs (not used): Norris, Nartey, Dunne, Pieters, Richardson. Caution: Westwood

Referee: Graham Scott

Att: Behind closed doors