Rodri is now an Atlético Madrid player. Both the rojiblanco club and Villarreal have official rubber-stamped the transfer of the midfielder for the next five seasons.
Rodri joins the Rojiblancos
The clubs reached a financial agreement for the Spanish international - one who many feel was close to a call up for Lopetegui's World Cup squad - concluding the rumours that have prevailed over recent months. The Madrid-born player's playing contract begins on July 1 and he bid farewell to the Yellow Submarine on Thursday morning.
Rodri returns to the club in which he started his professional development. He played for five years in the lower categories of Leti before joining the Villarreal youth set-up in 2013. Having already tasted glory as European champions with the national U-19 side, he is now a regular with the Spanish U-21s, following his debut in March 2017, in a friendly against Germany. At 21 years old, he leaves Villarreal after becoming one of the key players in their team, building on his strengths since making his debut in the top flight in the 2015-16 season. Over the past campaign he has played a total of 47 games in all competitions, has scored one goal and has added four assists.
The midfielder replaced Bruno Soriano in the centre of the midfield and was one of the sensations of the season, being one of those chosen by Uefa in LaLiga's most promising team.
Atlético Madrid: official announcement
Our club has reached an agreement with Villarreal over the transfer of Rodri. The midfielder will be an Atlético player starting 1 July on a five-year-contract.
Rodrigo Hernández Cascante, a 21-year-old 1.90 meters tall midfielder born in Madrid, is coming home, since he formed part of our Academy for five seasons before joining Villarreal. He made his debut for Villarreal in the 2015/16 season and became a member of the first team in the following league campaign playing 31 games. In the 2017/18 season, he played 47 official matches for Villarreal scored once and gave four assists.
Rodri is also a Spanish international. He won the UEFA European Under-19 Championship with Spain in 2015 and is a regular in the U21 squad. In March, he made his debut for the senior side against Germany this year.
He's a very talented midfielder, with excellent positioning and aerial play. His forté is recovering the ball and in the 2017/18 season he did so 320 times for his team, making him the player with the most recoveries in LaLiga. Rodri is also very good with the ball on his feet and was the third player with the highest pass success rate (2,470).