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Where Are They Now: Rodrigo Moreno

Oh what might have been - a left winger you say?

Michael Steele/Getty Images

Continuing the series looking back at former Bolton Wanderers players who are still plying their trade across the globe, I decided to take a look at the interesting career of one Rodrigo Moreno.

Born in Brazil, Rodrigo Moreno Machado followed a similar path to that of former colleague (and housemate in Horwich) Marcos Alonso, in that he began his career in the youth ranks at Real Madrid, before moving on to forge his own path to professional glory.

Where Alonso joined Bolton for £2.2m, Rodrigo found himself in Lisbon as a makeweight in a deal to take Benfica's Portuguese defender Fábio Coentrão to Madrid, turning down a permanent move to Bolton Wanderers at the same time. He instead joined Wanderers, then managed by Owen Coyle, on loan for the 2010/11 season.

Spending the season in an unfamiliar and, quite frankly, unsuitable left-wing position, he showed flashes of quality but was never trusted in his preferred centre-forward position by Coyle. He made 17 appearances, scoring once, before heading back to Portugal.

He made an immediate impact upon rejoining Benfica, scoring nine league goals in just 22 games - funny what happens when you play people in their best positions, eh Owen? Equally successful was his second season which yielded seven goals in 20 games as he became a more integral member of the SLB side. His final season at the club saw him notch 11 times in 26 appearances.

January 2014, Benfica sold 100% of Rodrigo's economic rights to a private company, Meriton Capital Limited, owned by Valencia chairman Peter Lim, for €30 million, plus another potential €10 million on performance-related bonuses.

That same summer, he moved to Valencia, ostensibly on loan, but in reality this is a permanent deal in all-but-name. His time back in Spain has yet to hit the heights of his run at Benfica, with three goals from 22 games a little on the disappointing side, but he did make his Spanish National Team debut in October 2014 with a substitute appearance against Luxembourg.

Undoubtedly a fine player, and another who we failed to get the best out of. Nice guy though, by all accounts.