If there is any current footballer in the Barclays Premier League who can be considered unlucky- then it would have to be Jay Rodriguez. The Southampton midfielder has endured a tough three-year period, which has been ridiculed by injury.
Cast your mind back to the 2013/14 season, this was Southampton’s second season back in the top-flight. This was also former manager Mauricio Pochettino’s first full season in charge at the club. Over the course of that particular season, the Saints proved to be a surprise package. In addition to this they also began to uncover a handful of young prosperous English talent.
Most notably Jay Rodriguez led the way for the Saints. The former Burnley player finished the season as top scorer, scoring 15 league goals. Rodriguez enjoyed himself in an impressive season under Pochettino. He would also earn an England call-up in November 2013, which remains his only international cap to date.
Among the English talent that blossomed at the club, such as; Rickie Lambert, Luke Shaw & Adam Lallana, it was Rodriguez that perhaps displayed the most prominence.
At the culmination of the 2013/14 campaign English fans would have been drawing up their ideal England squad for the 2014 World Cup. There is no doubt majority of fans would have pitched the idea of having Rodriguez on the plane to Brazil. In addition to this it would not have been surprising if he was in the mind of then England manager Roy Hodgson.
However on April 5th 2014, Rodriguez’s unfortunate saga began. After being stretchered off during a match against Manchester City, it was revealed that Rodriguez had suffered an anterior cruciate ligament. Therefore this injury ruled him out for 11 months, thus in missing out on the 2014 World Cup in the process.
Furthermore due to the extensive damage of the injury, Rodriguez would not play a single game for Southampton during the 2014/15 season.
Finally after 16 months on the sideline, Rodriguez returned to action for Southampton on August 6th 2015. Upon returning to league action he scored his first Premier League goal for two years, against Sunderland at the back-end of August 2015.
Last season Rodriguez finished the season with five goals in 24 appearances. unfortunately for the 27 year-old recent seasons have flickered on and off. While it was far from his best season, there appears to be re-growing stability in the still potentially promising role that Rodriquez can still play for the Saints.
In recent weeks there has been mounting speculation regarding Rodriguez’s future as a Southampton player. The former England international has been linked with a move away from St Mary’s. It has been reported by the Telegraph that West Bromwich Albion are in-talks over a £12m deal for the Saints player.
If West Brom can secure a deal for Rodriguez, then they would have a valuable player for next season. But while his services can be valuable, many would question his overall fitness in the long-term, over the course of a full season.
There is plently Rodriguez can offer to most sides and still only aged 27 years-old, there is more to come from him.
Thanks for reading! Make sure you follow me on Twitter @AaronPatel97.