Stade Rennais made official on Monday the arrival of Joe Rodon, central defender from Tottenham. The 24-year-old Wales international arrives on a one-year loan, with a non-binding €20m option to buy.
#1 From football school to the English D2, he rose through the ranks in Swansea
For a long time, Joe Rodon was a player for one club: Swansea. Born in the Welsh city of 250,000 inhabitants, he was a member of the club before joining it at the age of 8 and climbing the ladder until joining the Championship first team (English D2) in 2016, at 18 years old. After a successful loan to Cheltenham Town in League Two (English D4), he established himself as a starter in 2018-2019 at Swansea City, only hampered by a metatarsal fracture and a malleolus injury.
#2 He never really found his place at Tottenham
On October 16, 2020, the last day of the English transfer window, he signed up for five years at Tottenham. An ambitious choice at first sight, but his new coach José Mourinho justifies it by considering him as the future of the club. During his first season in London, he mainly occupied the bench, but started against Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United. His second season is more complicated, despite the arrival of Antonio Conte on the bench in November (after two interims). He only started in the league in the 4e day and must be content with Cup matches, and in particular the Europa League Conference. In 2021-2022, he will have played 514 minutes at club level, which is less than six full matches. Enough to push the club to accept Stade Rennais’ loan request this summer.
#3 A player with character, versatility and speed
By his height (1.93 m), Joe Rodon does not hesitate to use his physical qualities, in the air or in the duel. Fast for his size, he excels in reading the game. With 2.6 interceptions per game on average during his first season at Tottenham, he was the best player in the Premier League in the field (with at least 10 games played) .
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Able to play with both feet and in central left or right, he is technically comfortable, in memory of his years of possession football at Swansea. He is illustrated by his composure with the ball, offering solutions to the goalkeeper in the recovery, but favors short passes. He is also distinguished by his character as a warrior, bordering on the role of bad boy. Enough to make him appreciate Spurs supporters. But he remains very clean in his interventions, having not collected any card in club since February 8, 2020. “He will bring aggression to our defense. It was one of the points that we wanted to improve compared to last season.”comments Rennes President Olivier Cloarec. Only apparent downside: his concentration swings, which can be dangerous.
#4 He’s a Welsh national team manager
Since September 2019, the neo-Rennes has been at almost every gathering in Wales (excluding injuries). In particular, he played all four Dragons meetings during Euro 2021. In March and then in June, he was also a starter during the play-offs for the 2022 World Cup. He will play the competition in the fall in the very open group B, against Iran, the United States and the English neighbor. In total, Joe Rodon has 27 international selections. And as Olivier Cloarec reminds us, “as an international, he needs to play”.
#5 He already knows Roazhon Park
In September 2021, Tottenham moves to Roazhon Park for the start of the Europa League Conference. The opportunity for coach Nuno Espirito Santo to rotate. Joe Rodon is lined up from the start and participates with his team in the draw (2-2) against Stade Rennais. The day before, it was he who had been appointed for the pre-match press conference, in the dedicated room of the stadium. He had then had great difficulty in quoting a Rennes player when the question was put to him. This should no longer be the case for the next few hours.