Roberto Martinez has explained why ‘street striker’ Leandro Rodriguez has earned his call up to Everton’s first-team squad for the visit to Reading.
Martinez used the adjective to describe the Uruguayan after being impressed by the 22-year-old’s ability to capitalise on the opportunities offered to him in the early weeks of his Blues career.
Rodriguez’s inclusion in the travelling party for Tuesday’s Capital One Cup tie has come about following two goals in as many matches for the Club’s Under-21s side.
“As we always do with our youngsters, when a young player does well, he gets rewarded and Leandro deserves to be in that squad and let’s see where that takes him,” Martinez told evertontv ahead of Leandro’s potential first-team debut."
The Blues boss described Rodriguez as a 'street footballer' in his pre-match press conference.
So evertontv asked the manager exactly what he meant by the phrase.
He replied: “I think you get intelligent footballers that know how to take whatever is given to them, and I think Leandro is that type.
“He is someone that can hurt you in behind, he’s got clever movement but then if he’s got space in front of you he’ll get on the ball and he’ll combine well. He’s got a good finish and he’s someone that has got terrific potential."
Martinez also admitted that he did not foresee Leandro adjusting to English football and culture so quickly.
“He’s still a young man and he’s someone that is well into the programme of adapting into the British game and it’s still early stages but he’s been impressive in everything that he has done.”