The World Cup always offers players a unique opportunity to showcase their talent, and potentially engineer a move away from their current club.
Transfer sagas are regularly an intriguing sub plot to international tournaments, and this summer’s World Cup promises to be the same.
Spain manager Julen Lopetegui caused ripples of controversy with his final 23-man squad for Russia, although given the plethora of options available to him, there was always going to be some tough choices to make.
In attack, Lopetegui has opted for form and freshness, rather than experience, with Diego Costa the only experienced striker in the squad.
Aspas has had another fine goal scoring season with Celta Vigo, whilst Rodrigo has fired Valencia back into the Champions League for 2018-19.
The Brazilian born front man made only his second competitive appearance for Spain in 2017, scoring against Albania.
His role in the squad if likely to be as an alternative to Costa’s style, either alongside the Atletico Madrid man, or in his place.
This season with Valencia his has offered a versatility, not always seen in previous seasons, developing a fantastic relationship with Simone Zaza and Goncalo Guedes.
With Zaza playing as a central forward, Rodrigo adapted and played wide of a front three, using his pace and directness to run beyond the Italian international.
In other games, in Zaza’s absence, he has played through the middle, his favoured position, providing a goal threat through his willingness to make runs and stretch defences.
His calmness in front of goal, registering 16 in La Liga, is also a real mark of his continuing development, proving he can be efficient and ruthless when chances fall his way.
In Russsia he will have the eyes of the world on him, and as a striker for Spain he will have the additional pressure of being the final piece of the jigsaw to their possession based play.
If he impresses, there will be links with other clubs, with efficient strikers, with pace, always on the radar of Europe’s top clubs.
Rodrigo will be mindful of the issues that former teammate Paco Alcacer has endured after moving to Barcelona, but he is more experienced and approaching the peak of his career.