Tata Martino has already submitted the Mexican national team squad, which came with a lot of surprises, but Luis Rodríguez is not one of them. Even though he is leading the Liga MX in various different stats for a right-back, there was the absence of Fernando Navarro from León, who is the natural competition for him. Best known as “El Chaka”, has proven these years as one of the best right or wing-backs in the league, which makes him the natural choice for the starting eleven in the Mexican squad and probably for the World Cup. In this article, his scout report will show how he should be the first choice for Martino and why he is the best right-back in the league.
Movement and Positioning of Luis Rodríguez
El Chaka is one of Tuca’s favourite player. During this Guardianes 2020 Liga MX tournament, Luis Rodríguez has only missed two games, in which, one was subbed off by a small muscular problem. The next one, Eduardo Tercero started but was subbed by Luis in the half time. Luis was a right-winger as a youngster, which then was converted into a defender. This change was made in Chiapas, even though he comes from Rayados de Monterrey, the local rival of Tigres.
El Chaka is the best choice for a full-back because it provides versatility and security. Tigres has established as the best defence over the last ten years. Luis replaced Israel Jiménez, who performed very poorly after conceding an own goal against Monterrey, the local rival, in the playoffs. Luis has served as top-quality support for the right-wingers at Tigres. Rodríguez has been the partner to Ismael Sosa, Jurgen Damm, Joffre Guerrón and Luis Quiñones, where he has collected 3 Liga MX trophies and 3 Campeón de Campeones from his first game with Tigres in 2016.
Overlapping and aerial duels
Overlapping in the right side is his favourite movement, but he often cuts into the centre to distribute the ball or sending a straight pass to André-Pierre Gignac to cover the ball, waiting for movement close to him and continue the possession. Also, Luis has the ability to dribble players, which has helped Tigres with the possession as well in counter-attacks he provides pace and vision. As well, Chaka has a lot of experience that is seen in games in aerial duels. He moves the player with his body while watching the ball in the air, but the opponent is unable to move due to Chaka’s position in front of him. Despite his 175 cm, he has a high rate of aerial duels won.
Luis Rodríguez aerial is his strength, but he has some positive attributes. In the Liga MX, wingers are not usually tall, so his height is almost the same as the player he is defending. Chaka likes to use his experience on young players, causing them to jump and miss or be uncomfortable in the heading.
Role in Tigres and Mexican Squad
Knowing that Tigres is one of the best defensive teams, Chaka is an important piece of the defensive barrier. Luis Rodríguez, Hugo Ayala, Francisco Meza and Jesús Dueñas conformed the back four. There is rotation in the centre-backs with Carlos Salcedo and Diego Reyes. As well with experimenting with three centre-backs with Chaka and Javier Aquino as wing-backs. This proves that Luis has versatility in his roles, like his teammate Dueñas, that plays in midfield and left-back. As well that it is an elemental piece because there is no rotation by his side. As well, it is a liability if Chaka underperforms or has an injury. Chaka has been performing in the right-wing back in a 5-3-2 formation. His natural position is at right-back in a 4-2-2-2 formation with attack overlapping to Luis Quiñones.
In Mexico, Martino likes to play with a 4-3-3, where Luis plays a right-back. At his left side, Carlos Salcedo, his teammate, plays as right centre-back. On the right-wing is either Lozano or Lainez. Luis Rodríguez makes fewer risks in the National Squad but provides the same skill in defensive actions. The fewer risks made are because Mexico has much level than Tigres, which is provided with more creative players with no need for Chaka to be out of the risk spectrum. Finally, Martino has shown reliability in Montes, Gallardo and him. This could mean that he should be the one starting on September 30th, but there is nothing confirmed yet.
Defensive actions from Luis Rodríguez
With 0.34 shots blocked per 90, shows that Luis has a high defensive ability. Tigres is a dominant team, which has one of the lowest xG against. However, this shows the effort from Luis to have the clean sheet. Also, not only to defend the attack but to generate a turnover, Chaka has 3.4 interceptions per 90, showing that, even though Tigres has a high possession game when the opposition has the ball, Rodríguez has the IQ to recover the possession. Finally, Luis has one of the lowest sliding tackles per 90 with 0.55, because in-game, he does not have many actions for a slide tackle to occur. The scout report has shown that Chaka is an important piece for Ferretti.
Tigres is the best defence in the decade. Chaka came after Jiménez in 2016, but heavily improved the right side. Not only in Tigres, but in the National squad as well. He performed at a high level against Guatemala with a clean sheet. Also, he has been with a bloody cut for the second time. Luis was bleeding, first the head and now his nose. However, Martino replaced him at the same time as Gallardo, proving he likes them both at the wing-back position. He will probably start against the Netherlands and we’ll see how he will perform against Promes.
This scout report is not done without analyzing the passing. The leader in accurate progressive passes with 88.75% makes Chaka one to watch. Complementing the stat, he is the second-highest right-back with more passes per 90, with 45.96. Chaka and Luis Quiñones are paired on the right side. Quiñones is right now the leader of assists in the league. As well, he has 85% of completion rate in passes, which provides security at attacking, defending and in possession. Luis has the abilities to support the right-winger. Even though Tigres has had trouble finding a reliable one, Chaka has the versatility to support them with high performances. Finally, to give more credit to his partnership with Quiñones, he has a completion rate of 82.17% in forward passes with 17.82 per 90.
In-game, Luis likes to go forward, but as well knows its limits. With the 4-2-2-2 he complemented Quiñones and had a higher offensive threat. Now, Ferretti has changed to a 3-4-1-2 which takes away many defensive actions from Rodríguez but focusing on attack. Also, Quiñones is not playing due to indiscipline, which has caused Luis to be the only player on the right side of the pitch. However, he feels comfortable playing trough balls to Leo Fernández, André-Pierre Gignac or Nicolás López.
Luis is a 29-year-old right-back in the Liga MX. He is already at the peak of his career, which needs to maintain for two years. Tata Martino is watching him as well as to Jorge Sánchez and Alan Mozo. They are much younger than Luis, as well that they have much more potential. He has the experience of being a champion, as well that he has a humble attitude, with no news about him, because he is a very serious guy. Luis has to maintain the performances and help Tigres win this championship again.
Los auriazules have been suffering from late goals, which has had a strong impact from winning the three points. This scout report shows how Chaka has the liability of being small, but experience in aerial duels. Nonetheless, he possesses stamina which keeps him running all of the 90 minutes in the match. Tuca Ferretti has the task to find a replacement for him to maintain Chaka healthy. As well, a youngster could step up in easier games, but as well as keeping Chaka’s sharpness.