It’s Time to Worry about Southampton’s Jay Rodriguez


In March of 2014, Southampton attacker Jay Rodriguez was arguably the most in-form attacker in the Premier League. He poured in 5 goals in 4 matches that month for Mauricio Pochettino’s squad and helped Southampton to play some of the most attractive football in the world. Sadly, he suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament which knocked him out of action that same month. What’s even worse, is that over a year after the injury he’s failed to recover. It’s time to worry about Jay Rodriguez.

At the time of his injury, Rodriguez was only supposed to miss approximately six months of action. It’s an injury that certainly is a setback to players, but most are able to recover within that rough time frame. It’s been over a year for Rodriguez and his play has not come close to reaching the high level he displayed prior to his injury.

In fact, to say that Rodriguez’s play hasn’t lived up to his pre-injury hype is too kind. He’s been bad this season. His rating on the year is a paltry 6.22 and while he’s contributed three goals, none of them have been in the Premier League. His shockingly poor level of performance barely allows him to be a justified selection off the bench for Southampton.

What’s even more concerning for Southampton fans is that he doesn’t seem to possess the same explosive qualities that he had before his injury. His problems do not seem to be an issue of timing or confidence. Instead, it looks like the athleticism he used to rely on just isn’t going to come back.

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Optimistic Jay Rodriguez fans would say that it does, occasionally, take longer than a year to recover from such a serious injury. While I agree that’s possible, it’s certainly the exception as opposed to the rule. Even in cases where it does take a long time to recover the athleticism, you generally see flashes leading up to full recovery. The positive signs just aren’t there for Rodriguez. It’s unfortunate, but he looks like a shell of his former self.

It is always saddening to see a once promising football player lose their abilities due to injury, but that’s what is happening here. Rodriguez likely isn’t the type of player who can reinvent himself and rely on skill and guile as opposed to athletic gifts. This unfortunate fact means that his time in the Premier League may be running out.

The only possible saving grace for Rodriguez at this point is that he’s signed through 2019 at Southampton. The club has made a significant commitment to him that will allow him every opportunity to regain his lost form. Maybe he can defy the odds and regain the qualities that made him one of England’s brightest prospects. At any rate, it’s time for Southampton fans to be very worried about Jay Rodriguez and his ability to help their club.