Tottenham Hotspur and Fabio Paratici enjoyed a busy transfer window this summer, with the Italian sporting director adding no less than eight fresh faces to Antonio Conte’s first team squad, while also moving 14 of Spurs’ own players on to pastures new – either on a temporary or permanent basis.
One such outgoing player was Joe Rodon, the 24-year-old centre-back who joined Tottenham in a £15m deal in October of 2020, with the Wales international joining Stade Rennais on a season-long loan – with the Ligue 1 side holding a €20m (£17.5m) option to make the defender’s move permanent next summer.
And, while it is true that Rodon failed to ever really make his mark at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – something that is more likely down to the fact the centre-back was awarded just 14 starts over his two-year spell in north London rather than his ability – Paratici’s decision to allow the Welshman to leave the club could already be one the Italian is regretting.
Indeed, despite getting off to something of a slow start in France, the £8.7m-rated talent is now beginning to catch the eye for Rennes – having particularly impressed in the club’s recent victories over Stade Brestois 29 and AJ Auxerre, as well as in the 1-1 draw with Olympique de Marseille on Sunday.
Furthermore, the £24k-per-week defender also appears to be excelling in metrics that would look to make him a perfect fit for Conte’s three-man backline at Spurs, having completed an average of 63.6 passes – at a success rate of 90% – playing an average of 1.3 long balls – at a success rate of 44% – and winning an average of 4.0 duels – at a success rate of 62% – per game.
From these numbers, we can see that the 24-year-old is comfortable when playing out from the back, boasts an eye for a long ball to kickstart a counter-attack and is extremely strong in one vs one defensive situations – with all three of these traits known to be what the 52-year-old Tottenham manager looks for in his centre-backs.
And, seemingly as a direct result of these attributes, Wales manager Rob Page clearly believes that Rodon deserved much more than his reserve role at Spurs, with the 48-year-old stating in comments cited by The Independent earlier this month:
“I hated seeing Joe on the bench every week because he’s such a wonderful talent. I’ve worked with him for years with the U21s and seen his potential. There’s better to come from Joe, believe me, and going out to play games now will help him achieve that.
“He’s obviously done his homework on Rennes and the league. I think it will suit him as he’s got all the attributes of a top-class centre-half. He’s massive for us and he’s never let me down, but you can’t continue to not play because, eventually, it will catch up with you.
“When he’s playing week in and week out and coming into the camp full of confidence he is the complete player. I love to see Joe on the ball and driving forward. Playing out there in that league will give him the opportunity to do that repetitively every week.”
As such, while allowing Rodon to leave the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on a temporary basis would have been a move that little would have batted an eyelid at, Paratici’s decision to include a £17.5m option to buy the defender looks to have been a big mistake by the Spurs sporting director.
Indeed, not only does the 24-year-old seem a player who would suit Conte’s style of play down to the ground, but, should he continue his remarkable form in Ligue 1, he will undoubtedly be worth a great deal more than Rennes’ clause at the end of the season – meaning Tottenham have not only let a huge talent slip through their fingers but also a potentially substantial payday.