Steve Cooper: Swansea City youngsters have Premier potential

Joe Rodon
Joe Rodon made his senior Wales debut against Azerbaijan in September

Steve Cooper reckons Joe Rodon is one of a number of Swansea City youngsters with the potential to play in the Premier League.

Rodon, 21, has been tipped for the top-flight after a string of impressive performances for Swansea and Wales.

Swans head coach Cooper says the Championship club want to ensure the centre-back stays with them.

"I believe a lot of our players can play in the Premier League," he said.

"Joe is making good steps, but you've got to get beyond a certain level to be given that opportunity.

"If you've got young players that have high potential, and Joe isn't the only one, then of course you want to secure them for as long as you can.

"If he keeps going as he is, he will give himself a really good opportunity of getting there. But how do you do that? Just make sure you train well today and play well on Saturday if selected."

Former Wales internationals Danny Gabbidon and Iwan Roberts told this week's Elis James' Feast of Football podcast that Swans youth product Rodon will be playing Premier League football in 2020-21.

"Play well on Saturday would be my response to that," Cooper added.

"The moment you think beyond your next session or next game is the time where you're not focusing on the right things.

"We have got to be careful we don't get carried away. Joe's playing well for club and country, there's no hiding away from that, but he's still a young player."

Swansea lost another product of their academy, Dan James, to Manchester United in the summer for £15m.

The Wales winger departed for a relatively small fee as he had only a year to run on his Liberty Stadium contract.

Rodon signed a deal running until 2022 last November, but Cooper says Swansea must be aware of their rising stars' contract situations.

"When you have got a young player doing well, you want to secure him for as long as you can to ensure that he continues to play for you for as long as you can or, if there is a time when there is a sale, you can get the right money," he added.

"It's a normal situation for a good young player. We've got a lot of good young players in the squad and we want to be that club that gives them the opportunity.

"Joe's beyond that now. He is established, but even when a player is established, we want to work with them every day and help them learn so they can maximise their potential.

"If you do that you get better performances and if they are players who are sought after, then the value will be at its maximum."

Swansea, who are fourth in the table, return to Championship action at second-bottom Barnsley on Saturday.

Cooper's team are yet to lose on the road in the second tier this season.

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