Leeds United manager Daniel Farke ought to be congratulated after one of his under-the radar summer signings in Joe Rodon made a brilliant start to life at Elland Road, according to Phil Hay.
The Whites saw a number of big-name stars depart the club over the summer, many of whom were able to leave due to clauses in their deals in the event of relegation. And with 15 players leaving in total, new boss Farke was left with plenty of holes to fill in his squad.
Thankfully, the aggressive transfer approach promised by new owners, the 49ers Enterprises, did ultimately come to fruition with nine new players being welcomed in at Elland Road.
Of those, only five signed in permanent deals and it’s fair to say that the £12m spent on Joel Piroe and £7m sent to Chelsea for Ethan Ampadu already look astute pieces of business.
However, one signing for Leeds who did go under the radar somewhat is Rodon; the Wales defender arriving on a season’s loan from Tottenham.
Since his arrival, Rodon has made four starts for the Whites, helping them keep successive clean sheets in their last two games. And since coming into the team, Leeds are yet to lose a match in which Rodon has started.
Now Leeds will hope that record continues this week with a trip to Hull on Wednesday and a home date with Watford on the Saturday.
His performances in the heart of defence, where he has formed a solid-looking partnership with Pascal Struijk, have certainly caught the eye.
Rodon was excellent on Sunday as Leeds recorded a statement 3-0 win at Millwall.
Phil Hay hails impact of Joe Rodon at Leeds
Now The Athletic‘s Leeds United expert, Hay, speaking on the Square Ball podcast, has tipped his cap to the 25-year-old Wales international.
He said: “Rodon I think has had a really good start at Leeds. I think again it looks like a very strong, steady signing at centre-back and it cannot be a bad thing that you’re suddenly two clean sheets on the bounce given Leeds have seemed to abandon the concept of clean sheets completely for the last two to three years.”
Hay makes an astute point, because claiming of clean sheets for Leeds, especially in that woeful last season in the Premier League, was a concept that appeared alien to Leeds.
Admittedly, the Championship is a level down so clean sheets should be coming that bit easier for the Whites. But successive clean sheets is a great basis on which to build; and a solid defensive partnership, with Ampadu providing an ideal shield in front of them, is giving Leeds a far solid look this season.
Just one defeat from their six games to date represents a good start to life back in the second tier for Leeds.
As for Rodon, he may have also secured himself a perfect move after a frustrating time of things at Tottenham.
He moved to north London from Swansea back in October 2020, brought to Spurs by Jose Mourinho.
However, he has only made 24 appearances in his time at the club, spending the 2022/23 season on loan with Rennes in France. Unlikely to have a future with them, a move to Leeds will hopefully prove the perfect move for Rodon amid claims a permanent move could already be up for discussion.