The 23-year-old Brazilian born striker started his youth career with Real Madrid but couldn’t make the senior grade. He signed for Benfica in 2010 on a five-year-contract. Madrid had an option to re-sign the player but following the transfer of Fabio Coentrao, both teams agreed to cancel the buyback clause.
Rodrigo has had a brilliant campaign for Benfica this season and has been watched by Arsenal scouts on countless number of occasions. Last month, we reported that Arsene Wenger has finally decided to meet Benfica’s evaluation of £25m to fend off interests from other clubs.
Soccerlens writer Tamojit wrote a brief scouting report on Rodrigo:
Rodrigo has a fantastic left foot and the ability to leave defenders behind on his trail thanks to his raw pace. He has dazzling dribbling ability and with clever flick and turns can also support his team mates in the middle of the park. Wenger believes that the youngster who is owned by an investment firm, will provide an attacking edge to his side.
Early this month, we also reported that Real Madrid are considering the possibility of resigning Rodrigo, should French striker Karim Benzema leave the club. The Los Blancos are also targeting Liverpool’s Luis Suarez but feel Rodrigo would come in cheap.
Valencia, owned by Peter Lim, are interested in signing Rodrigo as well. Actually, Lim also the owner of Rodrigo’s pass, as Benfica sold him to his agency. Superdeporte reports that the Gunners are leading the race but the player’s future rests in the hands of Lim only.