Joe Rodon has admitted help from Gareth Bale persuaded him to leave Tottenham for Rennes, where the defender hopes to take his career to the next level.
Wales defender Rodon has moved on loan to the French club following his struggles in north London. After emerging at boyhood club Swansea, Spurs snapped him up as an exciting defender of the future.
However, since moving to north London, Rodon has only played 24 times for Spurs.
The centre-back consequently moved to France for the season, with Wales’ World Cup campaign on the horizon. And Rodon has played every minute in all but one of Rennes’ Ligue 1 matches this season.
Speaking to Wales Online, the defender revealed that he has “settled well” and his spell there has got “better and better”.
“It’s really important for me as a player to benefit from this,” he added. “Hopefully, I can become a better player and a better person.”
Out of the two seasons’ worth of Premier League football Spurs had since Rodon joined, the defender only made 15 appearances.
Furthermore, he started only eight of those games and came on as a substitute in the seven others.
Rodon often did not make matchday squads for Tottenham in the 2020/21 campaign. Last term, he remained an unused Premier League substitute in 29 of the 38 league games.
Rodon reveals Bale, Ramsey advice
Rodon went on to reveal that he is “thankful” for former Tottenham star Gareth Bale and ex-Arsenal man Aaron Ramsey – both senior players for Wales – offering him advice.
And he pointed out that “everyone is aware” of how he struggled for game time under Antonio Conte and former Tottenham bosses Nuno Espirito Santo and Jose Mourinho.
“I speak to them a lot and they give me advice and guidance along the way,” Rodon said.
“I can always reach out to them because they are top professionals and brilliant senior players, I can only look up to them and whatever advice they give can only benefit me along the way.
“Of course, no player wants to be going to a World Cup, having hardly played a minute of football. As everyone is aware, I haven’t played that much over the last two years.
“I think it was really important for me and my development to be exposed and be put in a position where I play a lot of games. That will improve me and give me more confidence.”
Spurs star made right decision
There is no doubt about it, Rodon made the best decision for his career development.
Spurs have faced criticism for their defending in recent seasons, with Conte now trying to sort out those problems.
And while Eric Dier, Ben Davies and Cristian Romero have benefitted from the Italian, Rodon did not.
Indeed, Davies and Dier have enjoyed a resurgence under Conte. Romero, meanwhile, was a Nuno Espirito Santo signing, but has flourished under the current manager.
Rodon, though, did not feel the benefit of the Italian’s revamp of the Spurs defence.
And with the World Cup on the horizon, he had to make a move away to prove himself.
Not only is he doing that in the French league, but Rodon is also starring in the Europa League for Rennes. The Ligue 1 side, who are fighting for a top-four domestic finish, have won two of two in the Europa League group stages.
Rennes have an option to buy Rodon next summer and, at the current rate, they may take that option up. However, Rodon may even fancy a second crack at Premier League football if the chance arises.