By Paul Jones
Swansea City finally succumbed to Tottenham Hotspur’s advances when they sold Joe Rodon for an initial £11m.
The Wales centre-back had been a target for Spurs since the Premier League transfer deadline earlier in the month, but the Swans had given out noises they would only sell for at least £18m.
In the end, they settled for far less, and although there is the possibility of £4m more through add-ons, the club’s American owners still appeared to have ignored the advice of head coach Steve Cooper not to sell their most prized asset on the cheap.
The coach even suggested that Norwich City’s record recent £25m sale of defender Ben Godfrey to Everton had set the benchmark.
At least Cooper got the second of his wishes issued 24 hours before the deadline – that the club bring in some reinforcements.
The Championship promotion-chasers have brought in Manchester City defender Joel Latibeaudiere on a free transfer as well as Bristol City midfielder Kasey Palmer on loan.
They later confirmed they had picked up centre-back Ryan Bennett, 30, from Wolverhampton Wanderers as well as Ryan Manning, a full-back from QPR, for £250,000.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) October 16, 2020
Latibeaudiere, 20, had spent seven years on City’s books, captaining them at youth level before having a loan spell with FC Twente last term.
Like new team-mates Marc Guehi and Morgan Gibbs-White, Latibeaudiere played under Cooper in the England Under-17 side that won their World Cup in 2017.
Cooper tried to sign Palmer, 23, on loan in the summer of 2019 but he opted for a permanent move to Ashton Gate.
Palmer came through the ranks at Chelsea and had loan spells with Huddersfield, Derby and Blackburn and Bristol City, who then paid a reported £3.5m to secure his services on a permanent basis.
But the arrival of the new quartet – at no real expense beyond wages – is unlikely to soften the blow of the loss of Rodon, who has excelled at the club over the past two seasons and has quickly established himself as Wales’ first choice under Ryan Giggs.
Good luck to Joe Rodon, a terrific lad who thoroughly deserves the chance to play at the highest level.
The fee is a totally separate issue and, obviously, nothing to do with him. It’s just further evidence of the incompetence of Swansea’s board and owners.
— Stuart James (@stujames75) October 16, 2020
Former England defender Andy Hinchcliffe – now a TV pundit for Sky Sports has compared Rodon to other more recent international defenders, Rio Ferdinand and John Terry.
“He’s right up there in terms of position for his age,” said Hinchcliffe.
“I think what you tend to do with young centre-halves is look at the greats of the Premier League. You look at Rio Ferdinand and John Terry and there are elements of both in Rodon’s game.
“What I want from a centre-half is someone who loves to defend. Yes, they can play, but they don’t just like defending, they really want to defend – they want to get in the line of fire, they want to stop the opposition scoring.
“That’s what we see with Rodon. When the ball is there to be won, he wins it.”