Joe Rodon backed to make step up to Premier League if Tottenham renew interest

Joe Rodon has been backed to make the Premier League grade by Wales colleague Chris Mepham should Tottenham push through their interest in the Swansea defender.

Spurs have held talks with a view to signing 22-year-old central defender Rodon, and could complete a deal before the extended EFL transfer deadline on October 16.

Rodon and Bournemouth centre-back Mepham are likely to be at the heart of the Wales defence against England in Thursday’s friendly at Wembley.

Wales v Azerbaijan – UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying – Group E – Cardiff City Stadium
Wales v Azerbaijan – UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifying – Group E – Cardiff City Stadium

“Joe’s quality is there for everyone to see,” said Mepham, who made 25 appearances in the top flight for the Cherries.

“He’s played a lot of games for Swansea now and has been putting in some really good performances. He’s definitely got what it takes to make the step up.

“He’s very calm and composed on the ball and very confident in stepping forward.

“Defensively, he’s very dominant in the air and he’s quite a big lad so he imposes himself on the game.

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“I think he has all the characteristics that any Premier League team would look for in a centre-back.

“If he does make the step up then I hope he does really well. I think he could be a good talent.”

Rodon has just won four caps for Wales since making his debut in September 2019, with injuries preventing him from making a bigger impact under Ryan Giggs.

He underwent ankle surgery last autumn to miss the end of Wales’ Euro 2020 qualifying programme, and sat out September’s Nations League wins over Finland and Bulgaria after picking up another injury.

Rodon’s Swansea team-mate Connor Roberts said: “I was chilling with him on deadline day (Monday) and asking what the crack is.

Wales v Bulgaria – UEFA Nations League – Group 4 – League B – Cardiff City Stadium
Wales v Bulgaria – UEFA Nations League – Group 4 – League B – Cardiff City Stadium

“I don’t want him to go anywhere, but at the moment all that’s in his head is playing against England for Wales on Thursday.

“I have known him since he was a kid and he is a great lad. I wouldn’t say it affects him too much.

“If after the Wales camp he is off to another team then he is off to another team.”

The build-up to the Wembley friendly has been dominated by England trio Tammy Abraham, Ben Chilwell and Jadon Sancho.

The Football Association is investigating reports that the three players attended a social gathering at the weekend and breached coronavirus rules in England as there were more than six people in attendance.

England File photo
England File photo

Abraham, Chilwell and Sancho could now miss the game after being told to stay away from St George’s Park – and Mepham said Giggs had stressed the need to remain safe in Wales’ bio-secure bubble.

“It was one of the first talks we had when we came away, about the importance of the virus and how we need to be extra safe and extra wary,” Mepham said.

“This is a real-life situation that’s happening and we need to make sure we are not putting each other at risk, and that we are doing everything by the letter.

“Ultimately if we do that we’ll be safe and healthy.”