Joe Rodon: Swansea defender a fit for Wales, says manager Steve Cooper

Joe Rodon in action for Swansea against Aston Villa
Joe Rodon made 28 appearances for Swansea in the 2018-19 season

Joe Rodon is ready to step up for Wales if Ryan Giggs needs him, according to Swansea City manager Steve Cooper.

Wales boss Giggs names his squad on Wednesday for the Euro 2020 qualifier with Azerbaijan on 6 September.

Giggs is short of central defenders playing regularly for their clubs, but Rodon has started all three of unbeaten Swansea's Championship games.

"On the basis he gets selected, Wales will be bringing in a fully-fit player who is in good form," said Cooper.

Rodon, 21, has been involved in previous Welsh squads but has not played.

Captain Ashley Williams, Bournemouth's Chris Mepham and James Lawrence of Anderlecht shared central defensive duties in the June defeats in Croatia and Hungary.

Williams - set to join Bristol City - and Lawrence, have yet to play this season while Mepham was on the bench for Bournemouth's victory over Aston Villa on 17 August.

Rodon has played every minute of Swansea's Championship campaign to date.

Joe Rodon with Joe Allen and Connor Roberts
Joe Rodon (left), with Joe Allen and Connor Roberts, was in Wales' squad for the friendly against Spain at the Principality Stadium last October

"Joe is a big player for us. He's had a very good start to the season," added Cooper.

"The exciting thing with Joe is he'll only get better. He's taken great responsibility both with and without the ball.

"If he starts doing as well for Wales as he is for us, I would not be surprised.

"If he keeps going the way he is I am sure good things will happen with us and definitely at international level, too."

Cooper was England Under-17s manager when they won the World Cup in 2017 and would have no worries if Rodon was thrown into the Azerbaijan game.

"Having come from international football . . . it's a real bonus to have as many players playing frequently as that," he said.

"It probably stands him in good stead that if he is selected.. He's playing full games for us at the moment, at a really good level."

Removed from social media

Rodon has removed himself from social media after receiving abuse.

Cooper said: "I'm aware of that. We have checked with him as a club and he's absolutely fine.

"My initial feelings from the fans are that they're behind the team.

"Every set of fans love their own and Joe is an example of a player coming through, he knows that. The club are behind him. He's a big asset for the squad, we need everybody to be behind each other.

"The reality is Joe is playing really well, he is a young player that is the most impressive part.

"There's no reason to be anything but behind him and the team, but as I say the fans have been brilliant."

Nathan Dyer is doubtful for Wednesday's game at Queens Park Rangers because of a hamstring problem.

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