Nuno Santo must now start this Spurs colossus over Eric Dier | OneFootball

Nuno Santo must now start this Spurs colossus over Eric Dier

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Football FanCast

Tottenham Hotspur return to Premier League action this weekend following the international break and manager Nuno Santo is left with plenty of tough dilemmas.

The Lilywhites head to St James’ Park to face Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon and they know that they could be in for a tricky encounter as it’ll be the first game since the Magpies were finally taken over by a Saudi-backed consortium.

Nuno has had the benefit of the fact that not all of his Spurs stars have been on national team duties over the past week, with names like Dele Alli and Eric Dier remaining at Hotspur Way, and it’s the latter who he could have a big call to make on.

His defensive teammate, Joe Rodon, has excelled for Wales once again and after just one league appearance off the bench this campaign, it could be time to see the £11m signing in action more often.

After missing the start of the 2021/22 campaign through injury, the 23-year-old colossus has only been restricted to opportunities in the UEFA Europa Conference League, starting against Stade Rennes and NS Mura.

The former Swansea City defender has the difficult task of usurping two long-serving members of the current squad in Dier and Davinson Sanchez, as well as summer signing Cristian Romero, but he needs to be given an opportunity to impress as he regularly delivers on the big stage for Wales.

Earlier this week, the young centre-back was named as Rob Page’s star man in their narrow victory over Estonia on Monday night. WalesOnline described him as ‘leading the way under pressure’ and that he is ‘quickly becoming one of the first names on the team sheet.’

He also started all four of their matches at Euro 2020.

There is some sort of cruel irony in the fact that he’s nailed on to start for his country but not for his club.

Many supporters saw their man in action and took to social media to express their desire for him to start, with many asking Nuno to play him over the aforementioned Dier.

Rodon has been likened to both Rio Ferdinand and John Terry in the past, whilst his international teammate Chris Mepham believes he is “very calm and composed on the ball” and “very dominant in the air.”

Indeed, his only Premier League appearance saw him notch seven clearances, one more than what he managed against Estonia this week, where he also won two aerial duels and recorded one block, as per WhoScored.

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Also dubbed a “real asset” by ex-manager Steve Cooper, Rodon could be a real Rolls-Royce of a defender for Spurs over the coming years.

He’s clearly good enough to start and it might be in Nuno’s best interests to start him regularly over those that have remained inconsistent for several weeks, if not months.

Given their defensive record and lack of clean sheets, it’s time for the Portuguese to unleash the towering 6 foot 4 titan, starting with this weekend’s trip to Newcastle.

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