Tottenham Hotspur defender Joe Rodon has spoken openly about Jose Mourinho’s decision to leave him out of the Europa League squad last season.
The Welsh international admitted that it was ‘obviously frustrating’ but he did ‘kind of understand’ the situation.
Rodon was a last-minute signing from Championship side Swansea in the 2020 summer transfer window and has seen sporadic minutes come his way since joining the club.
He has played 15 games for Spurs in all competitions but none of them have come in the Europa League as Mourinho made the bold decision to leave the defender out of the squad for that competition last season.
However, that call was slightly out of their hands as Spurs, at the time, had 18 non-homegrown players, which is one more than UEFA allows.
A first-team squad member, therefore, had to miss out and it was the 23-year-old defender who was chosen, despite impressing in the limited Premier League minutes he was afforded.
After being asked whether he was excited to play in the European Conference League after being left out last year, he told football.london: “Yeah, like you say was obviously frustrating last season given the amount of opportunities that were there.
“But yeah I’m excited to get underway hopefully tomorrow night and hopefully at the start of a successful campaign.”
He added: “It was obviously frustrating. I kind of understood – it was for a reason, to adapt me and get me into the group.
“Every player wants to play a lot of games, but sometimes it doesn’t go like that and the best thing I could do was just to keep my head down, keep working hard and wait for my opportunity.”
On whether it was lonely being left behind, he said: “Nah, to be fair all the boys were brilliant with me last season, and all the staff.
“Last year was my first year and it was just about getting used to everything and adapting.
“Like I say I think it all happens for a reason and like I say I’m just delighted to have more opportunities this season.”
It was the wrong decision, in my opinion. Rodon deserved more minutes and the Europa League would have been perfect. Although if he was playing against Zagreb, the outcome probably would’ve been the same.
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