Joe Rodon will return to Tottenham Hotspur this week a hero.
The 23-year-old defender made quite the statement for Wales in their World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic on Tuesday night.
Rob Page’s side looked poised to throw away all three points in an agonising way but the Spurs colossus was in the right place at the right time to snuff out the danger, putting in a last-ditch and fearless block to deny the visitors at the Cardiff City Stadium.
It was not only brave but intelligent too as Rodon made ground to put his 6 foot 4 frame in between Ondrej Celustka and Danny Ward in front of the sticks. His monstrous lunge denied a very likely goal.
That one moment late in the game capped off an impressive night for the Spurs gem.
During the commentary, former Wales defender Danny Gabidon dubbed it a “match-winning block” and claimed it was “unbelievable defending” from Rodon (via Wales Online), whilst another ex-international James Collins said it was “incredible,” adding: “Me as an old, rugged centre-back, I love to see stuff like this. All the centre forwards over the years getting the plaudits for their goals, but this is as good as a goal,” he said on Sky Sports (30/3, 21:51).
In what was his 12th senior cap for the Welsh side, Rodon arguably picked up the ‘Man of the Match’ award too.
As per SofaScore, he also managed a match-high seven clearances and recorded the second-highest touches (50) for the home outfit, meaning he was more involved in the game than the likes of Spurs teammate Gareth Bale (31) and the goal-scorer Dan James (33).
Rodon has now played more times for Wales than he has all season for Spurs. After joining for what now seems like a bargain £11m from Swansea City, the defender has only featured in ten matches in all competitions.
Missing out on the Europa League squad registration earlier in the campaign has certainly hindered his game time but after this latest international display, he’s certainly sent a huge message to Jose Mourinho that he should be starting more.
His most recent start before the break – a 2-0 win over Aston Villa – saw him excel in the absence of Toby Alderweireld, so the Spurs boss now must carefully consider who he selects this weekend, with them due to return to action on Sunday afternoon against a struggling Newcastle United side.
You’d imagine after that big display, it would be a hard call to axe Rodon from the starting XI.
It’s time to let Spurs’ future finish out the season as a first-choice.
AND in other news, Imagine him & Kane: Levy must sanction £36m swoop for “remarkable” beast…