Joe Rodon knew he needed a bit of action to improve his World Championship chances

Joe Rodon admits he had to leave Tottenham to make the most of his World Cup dream with Wales.

Rodon joined the Wales squad for the Nations League games against Belgium and Poland for the first time as a Rennes player this week after joining the Ligue 1 club on a season-long loan from Spurs last month.

Wales captain Gareth Bale, who was at Spurs with Rodon in the 2020/21 season, said in June that he felt his international team-mate “deserved” to play for Tottenham.

Joe Rodon, centre, playing for Rennes against AEK Larnaca in the Europa League, has settled in well at his new French club (Petros Karadjias/AP).

(AP)

But the 24-year-old played more minutes for Wales than Spurs last season and national team manager Robert Page had expressed concern at the centre-back’s lack of playing time ahead of November’s World Cup.

Rodon said: “No player wants to go to a World Cup after playing barely a minute of football.

“As everyone knows, I haven’t played that much in the last two years. I think it was really important for me and my development to be exposed and put in a position where I play a lot of games.

“It will improve me and give me more confidence.



I think it was really important for me and my development to be exposed and put in a position where I play a lot of games

Joe Rodon

“I can only be thankful and grateful for the opportunity that was given to me at Rennes. I’ll try to make myself proud by continuing to play every week.”

Rodon has featured in nine of Rennes’ first ten games this season.

He also has Europa League experience against AEK Larnaca and Fenerbahce and believes his move to France will stand him in good stead against Belgium in Brussels on Thursday.

“Each league has its own challenges,” said Rodon.

Wales captain Gareth Bale said he felt his former Tottenham team-mate Joe Rodon ‘deserved’ to play more minutes at Spurs last season (Nick Potts/PA)

(PA wire)

“I think it’s a very good league. It’s very physical, but also with a lot of good, technical players.

“There’s a good balance in there and it’s up to me to adjust and improve my game.

“I loved playing more games to build this camp, that’s something I’ve missed. I want to keep going until I’m done.”

Wales are struggling to remain in the top flight of the Nations League after clinching just one point in four games.

That point came in the 1-1 home draw with Belgium in June, when Brennan Johnson leveled late.

Even if Wales lose in Belgium and depending on the results elsewhere, the Dragons could avoid relegation from League A by beating Poland in their final group game in Cardiff on Sunday.

Rodon said: “It’s the last camp before the World Cup and of course we have two tough and important games ahead of us.

“We can’t really look past it, we know there’s work to be done.

“We can only concentrate on Thursday and then on Sunday and then look forward to the World Cup.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/belgium-gareth-bale-nations-league-rennes-poland-b2171610.html Joe Rodon knew he needed a bit of action to improve his World Championship chances

Fry Electronics Team

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