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The Rumour Mill – Rodrigo

Newcastle’s apparent search for an additional striker goes on, with rumours linking the club to Benfica starlet Rodrigo.

Many of you may remember the 21 year old from an uninspiring spell he had with Bolton Wanderers a few years ago, in which he managed just 1 goal in 20 games. However, it’s fair to say that the youngster has hit the ground running since then in Portugal.

The striker has been in top form for Benfica this season, notching 4 goals in 7 league games, whilst being on the back of 9 goals in 22 games during the 2011-12 season. Quite clearly, there has been a drastic improvement in Rodrigo’s goal return.

The Portuguese giants signed the young prospect up in July 2010 on a five year contract, showing their intent to nurture him into a quality player. However, despite this seemingly long term commitment, young players are often susceptible to the lures of bigger and better things.

Now, it must not be said that Benfica aren’t a well established club in this continent, for the days when the great Eusebio played for them has confirmed otherwise. Nevertheless, it must be said that the league they play in is nowhere near as challenging as ours. Similar to the Eredivisie, a championship I often chastise, many of the domestic players move abroad to seek bigger and better things. The likes of Ronaldo, Pepe and Nani are prime examples of this.

Of course, all this is based on speculative postulation, and I’m sure many of you will criticise a rumour that perhaps lacks a backbone to it. But whether it be true or not, being linked with a young striker who is confident in front of goal is very exciting.

Admittedly, his last and only spell in England thus far was disconcerting, but it is unfair to assume that he could never make it in this league considering his age. Rodrigo is clearly a player who is still learning very quickly, and that’s always convincing. With the standards of our scouting team and youth system, I’m adamant that the club would be able to continue aiding the front man in his development. For now though, let’s just see how things pan out in January.

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