Injured Rodon to miss Wales’ crucial November qualifiers

27 October 2019

Swansea boss Steve Cooper revealed defender Joe Rodon will miss Wales’ crunch Euro 2020 qualifiers next month after Ben Wilmot stepped into his shoes to become the south Wales derby hero.

On-loan Watford teenager Wilmot marked his first Swansea league start with a 24th-minute headed winner as Cardiff were beaten 1-0 in the Sky Bet Championship clash at the Liberty Stadium.

Wilmot found out he was playing less than 24 hours before kick-off, with Rodon discovering that he requires ankle surgery and faces a few months on the sidelines.

Ben Wilmot headed the winner in the south Wales derby (Mark Kenton/PA)

The injury rules 22-year-old Rodon out of Wales’ November qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Hungary.

Wales need to win both games to qualify for Euro 2020 next summer and the news will come as a huge blow to manager Ryan Giggs, as Rodon has established himself at the heart of the Dragons’ defence.

“Joe had a knock on the ankle last week but he picked up a fresh injury on Tuesday night (against Brentford),” Cooper said after Swansea’s derby win.

“He’s got a tendon injury that rules him out of the Wales games too. He’s going to need an operation next week and will be out for a few months.

Joe Rodon has become a key figure for club and country (Nick Potts/PA)

“What hurts him will make him stronger, but he was close to tears when he heard the news.

“I think it hit home when he knew he wasn’t going to play. But he stood by the side of the team and didn’t leave us for one minute.”

England Under-21 international Wilmot turns 20 next week and his only previous starts for Swansea had come in the Carabao Cup.

Wilmot’s last league start was in April during a loan spell in Italy, for Udinese against Lazio.

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