DAVE Jones says that “big things” are expected from Rodri after his dazzling debut for the Owls.
But the Spanish striker has consummate belief in his ability to meet the challenge, and the toughness and industry that he will need to cope in English football, reckons the Wednesday boss.
“He feels he should have been in Barcelona’s first team - that’s why he wanted a move,” says Jones.
“He wants to play, that’s not a bad attitude to have. He’ll put his foot in and chase down as well.”
The 22-year-old was booked for a bad tackle just before he scored on his debut in the 3-2 win against Birmingham.
But it was his movement, ability on the ball and expert way he took his goal that excited home fans.
His signing on loan with a view to a full transfer has raised eyebrows in the English game.
Jones admitted: “I’ve had a call from a Premier League manager who said ‘how the....did you get him out (of Barcelona)?”
“He just has that European thing where they have that little glide past people, that arrogance. He has control and vision.
“We’re expecting big things from the kid. He’s only young, we have an option to buy him. It augurs well for us.
“Someone said to us the other day when we signed him: ‘Is he going to be any good?’ I think Barcelona are the sort of club who probably do a recce properly on players. We do the same checks.
“Some of his movement is superb. He could have scored in the second minute. When he got his chance after that, we said on the bench ‘go on, son, show us what you’ve got’. That’s what he did.
“I’m sure the chairman is well pleased.
“When you bring someone in from a foreign land, it’s always difficult. You never know how they’re going to settle. That will have done him (Rodri) the world of good.
“But the expectation now is really high. Everybody will be expecting it. His vision and tenacity were there for all to see.”
It is not known how much the 22-year-old would cost, though the Owls have privately agreed a price with Barcelona, should they want to buy him at the end of his season-long loan. Barcelona are said to have paid Sevilla around £1,2m for him a year ago, but Jones reckons the fee was nearer £2m.
The Owls boss revealed: “One of the things we did not want to do when bringing players in on loan was to sign them only for the short term. The chairman likes to agree a price. We didn’t do that with Antonio. That was a mistake.
“Anybody we bring in, it’s with a view to buying: we make sure the price is nailed on there and then.”
Jones admitted that the Owls currently would find the price for Rodri a bit too much for them.
The Spaniard was the 11th signing of the summer but Jones wants three more - believed to be a striker, a midfield player and a centre half.
“You can never have enough strikers in your club,” he said. “Look at our bench against Birmingham: it was strong. I could change my strikers. Hopefully I can bring in one more.”
Millwall winger or striker Danny N’Guessan has been linked with the Owls .