‘The next special player coming through’ – view from Wales on Joe Rodon
Mon 19 October 2020, 14:55|Tottenham Hotspur
Joe Rodon completed his move from Swansea City to Spurs last Friday, but what can we expect from the defender on the field?
To learn a bit more about the young Welsh international’s career to date, we turned to BBC Wales football correspondent and commentator Rob Phillips for some insight into Joe’s early steps in the game.
Joe Rodon's story
Rob Phillips: “Joe Rodon was in the Swansea Academy from the age of eight, and he’s one of those players… you know when you go to a club, and Swansea have had youngers coming through, they’ve had a really good record of bringing young players through, Ben Davies being one of them. Oli McBurnie (Sheffield United) and Dan James (Manchester United) went to Premier League clubs last season, but those in the know have always said the one to watch was this centre-half from a place called Llangyfelach, in Swansea, and it’s Joe Rodon.
"He’s always been the one who people have looked at as the next special player coming through the Swansea Academy, which has a brilliant record of producing young players, and he hasn’t disappointed at club - and now international - level. He’s established himself and he just looks the part. He’s six-foot-four, he’s aggressive, but he’s very comfortable on the ball as well. He’s got everything you look for in a modern-day centre-half, and I say ‘modern-day’, I’d say of any era.”
Rob Phillips: “He’s really comfortable on the ball, which I always think is an added bonus for a centre-half, because they are there principally to defend. His reading of the game is really good, he positions himself well and when it comes to making tackles, he tackles decisively. He makes good decisions and you rarely see him caught out in the wrong areas, but if he does, he’s quick enough to recover. Then, when he does have the ball at his feet, he’s really comfortable, which is what modern-day managers tend to put more of an emphasis on than certainly they used to.”
Rob Phillips: “He made his international debut against Azerbaijan in 2019, a Euro 2020 qualifying match. Now, when Wales go through their centre-halves, when Ryan Giggs looks at the centre-halves at his disposal, we’re pretty strong in that area with the likes of Chris Mepham (Bournemouth), who played in the Premier League, another youngster coming through, Ben Cabango (Swansea) and Tom Lockyer (Luton), who is not a household name but has done ever so well. Actually, now, if you spoke to people, they would say when you pick a squad for the delayed European Championship finals, Joe Rodon is probably the number one centre-half. I’m sure he will be up and raring to go when he gets his opportunity at Spurs.”