Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has explained why Joe Rodon has failed to make the breakthrough into his Premier League team as yet.
The Wales international was signed in the summer of 2020 for £15million from Swansea, with Spurs, who were managed by Jose Mourinho at the time, beating several other Premier League clubs to the signature of the highly-rated centre-back.
There was expected to be a period of adaptation for the 24-year-old. After all, he had swapped the Championship for England’s top flight.
But 18 months down the line, the Welshman remains nowhere near the starting line-up – in the league anyway. To that end, there has been talk he could leave on loan in January.
He did start the humiliating defeat to NS Mura in the Europa Conference League. However, he found himself out of the matchday squad again for Thursday night’s win over Brentford.
Speaking about Rodon at his press conference for Sunday’s clash with Norwich, Conte said: “The first thing that I tried to do – and am doing – is find the right position for every player. And in every position you have a double player, and in the characteristic, I see Joe behind Eric [Dier] in the central position.
“This position is a singular position. If you’re a central defender on the right or the left, you have more options to play. To be behind the central defender, you have only one option.
“Joe has showed me really, really great commitment, a will and desire to learn and improve himself. This is good. A really good example for the other players.
“He’s a solid player that works and knows he wants to improve. And I’m satisfied for the improvement I’m seeing in the training sessions about him.”
Team news for Norwich clash
Conte also gave an update on injuries ahead of the clash with the Canaries. He revealed that Giovani Lo Celso and Cristian Romero remain on the sidelines, although there was some good news about the former.
The Italian added: “No bad news. This is important. We have all the players available and it’s okay apart from Romero and Giovani Lo Celso.
“Romero, as I said before, needs a long time to recover. Instead, Giovani, I think after the Norwich game, will be ready to start again training sessions with us.”
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