Wales manager Robert Page has insisted that Tottenham centre-back Joe Rodon may have to move on for more game time to help his international career.
Rodon initially made his name at Swansea, impressing in the Championship after rising through the ranks. As a result, a number of clubs registered interest in the 24-year-old to offer him a step up.
However, Spurs – with their transfer policy of signing younger talents and then developing them – snapped him up in October 2020.
But while he has gained some experience of the top level, Rodon remains further down Tottenham’s pecking order. In fact, that has been the case under current boss Antonio Conte and his predecessor Jose Mourinho.
Overall, he has only played 20 games for Tottenham. On the international stage, though, he is a regular for Page and he has 22 caps to his name.
Wales face the first of potentially two play-off ties in March for a place at the 2022 World Cup. As such, Page has admitted that Rodon may have to leave Conte’s squad.
“Joe is an unbelievable talent and rightly so got a move to a big Premier League club in Tottenham,” the manager told The Sun.
“But now he understands he might have to move on and play games of football because we want our best players playing week in, week out.
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“Then when they turn up and play against the Belgiums of this world, if they are playing in the Premier League week in, week out then it’s not a culture for them.
“They are used to the standard and the movement of [Romelu] Lukaku or the physicality and demands that top class football brings.
“That’s where we want our players.”
Should Wales beat Austria in their semi-final, they will face Scotland or Ukraine for a spot at the World Cup.
Rodon is not the only Wales player Page has urged to think about moving on in January.
Rodon facing similar scenario to Williams
Liverpool right-back Neco Williams is also impressing on the international stage and stood out in the November games.
Like Rodon, though, he is further down the pecking order. In Williams’ case, though, November’s Premier League Player of the Month Trent Alexander-Arnold stands in his way over game time.
Page admitted that Williams may also have to move on as he looks to reach top form ahead of the World Cup play-off.