Georginio Rutter goals will come as ‘it’s a pleasure to work’ with Leeds striker
Leeds head coach Javi Gracia insists club record signing Georginio Rutter is a pleasure to work with and needs more time to settle in at Elland Road.
The France Under-21s striker has started in only three of his eight appearances for Leeds and has yet to score his first goal since arriving from Hoffenheim in January.
Fans have questioned his £36million transfer fee as Leeds struggle to create and convert chances, but Gracia dismissed the 20-year-old’s hefty price tag.
The former Watford boss, whose side take on Premier League high-flyers Brighton at home on Saturday, said: “What I can say is that for me as a coach, it’s a pleasure to work with this kind of player that Georginio is.
“I don’t know the price. I don’t speak about money, I speak about what I see in all the training sessions and the commitment all of them have.
“In this case Georginio is no different. Every day he’s working hard, trying to improve and trying to help the team. That’s what I can say about Georginio.
“It’s a pleasure for me to have players with that attitude and that mentality.”
Leeds invested in Rutter’s potential and not a proven goalscoring record after he notched 11 in 57 Bundesliga games for Hoffenheim.
“Everybody can see he’s a young player and he needs time to give the best face, but he always tries to do the things well and help the team,” Gracia said.
“Like the rest of the team, in my opinion we have a young team, we need to work to improve because we need results as soon as possible.
“But at the same time we need to keep confidence in the young players to help them improve. It’s a long way, it’s not only (going to take) one or two weeks.”
Gracia, who believes Rutter is best suited to playing alongside a second striker, is hoping both Rodrigo and Patrick Bamford will be back in contention to face Brighton.
Leeds’ top scorer Rodrigo is closing in on a quicker-than-expected return from ankle surgery, while Bamford missed last week’s defeat at Chelsea due to a leg injury.
With Rodrigo sidelined and Bamford yet to recapture top form following a groin operation in December, Leeds have failed to score in five of their last seven matches.
Gracia said: “This week we did many different exercises to improve and try to finish better.
“The moment in the game is the moment in the game, it’s different to training sessions and you have to show in that moment your character and composure to finish.”
When asked who the best finisher was, the Spaniard added: “I can’t tell you that, it’s a secret! Maybe Brighton will put a close marker on the best finisher.”