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Wales Watch returns asking the question ‘Is Ben Davies the most underrated left-back in the Premier League, and is it because he’s Welsh’? Harry Wilson is off to a flyer at Hull City and Swansea youngster Joe Rodon is making a positive impression at Cheltenham.


We know Ben Davies is superb. You know it. But for the past few seasons all we’ve heard about at Tottenham in terms of left-back is “Danny Rose”.

“Rose & Walker the best full-backs in the league”. “How will Spurs cope without Rose if he leaves”. My particular favourite were the stories earlier this season “Tottenham look to replace Rose with Manchester United’s Luke Shaw”, seriously. Spurs so bereft of a left-back that they’d look to an in-experienced United reserve rather than Davies.

The mainstream “British” (English) media were at it again this weekend as Davies’s inch perfect cross was buried by Three Lions darling Harry Kane, BBC Wales head man Rob Phillips pointed out that the Match of the Day coverage was barely adequate.

“What a cross from @Cymru defender Ben Davies for the Harry Kane winner in North London derby! With respect somewhat underplayed in analysis IMHO.” – Rob Phillips, BBC Wales

There is definitely a blindside to some of our heroes from the English media, and I kind of get it. He’s ours. Not theirs.

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Great to be back at my local cricket club 🏏

A post shared by Ben Davies (@bendavies33) on

He goes to watch his local cricket club in west Wales. He takes walks along the west Wales coastline instead of hitting the usual footballers holiday spots. So, it was a pleasure to see Tottenham fans really appreciating Ben’s qualities.

And you know what, we don’t care if they don’t care. Mauricio knows it, and so do we. Ben Davies – future Wales captain (for me).

Harry Wilson training Wales
Harry Wilson trains for Wales – credit:


“Harry must get a loan” “Harry really needs to be playing senior football” … sometimes you feel it’s more obvious to us than the managers.

But we’ve been properly vindicated with Harry Wilson so far since he joined Hull on loan from Liverpool.

“A man on a mission” is how one of my Hull supporting friends have described his 2 performances for Hull City since his loan move on transfer deadline day.

Harry got his first goal on Saturday in a 2-0 win at Nottingham Forest, and the youngster got some rave reviews. Desire to get on the ball, wanting the ball and a willingness to do his defensive duty as well. It seems as if Wilson knows this is his chance to show what he can do, and he’s going to give it absolutely everything.

“Big win today!! happy to score my first goal @HullCity.” – Harry Wilson

There’s an international window coming up – so if Wilson is playing regularly with Hull would it be better if he goes with the China Cup squad or the with U21s for their important qualifier in Bosnia? For me it’s got to be with the Ryan Giggs and his China Cup squad. He’s 20 and needs to be pushing himself working with senior pros now. He’s behind the likes of David Brooks and Ben Woodburn, but if his early Hull form is anything to go by that might not be for that long.

Joe Rodon Wales training
Joe Rodon training with Wales – credit:


Swansea’s young players have been grabbing a few headlines as the Swans perform their, what’s now become, annual escape under a new manager.

But while Connor Roberts and Daniel James have done it on home turf, Joe Rodon’s headed off to Cheltenham Town on loan to make his senior breakthrough.

“Delighted to make home debut today for @CTFCofficial! Boys were unbelievable and amazing support also.” – Joe Rodon

What a good move it’s been so far too. Rodon’s an athletic, pacy defender with a good range of passing. Sometimes played at full-back but predominately a centre-back he’s excelled in the Wales age grade teams and has been called up to train with the seniors thanks to Osian Roberts “pathway”.

Cheltenham drew away at Grimsby in his debut, then he played as part of a back three against Port Vale as the Robins won 5-1, the club’s first home win in 5 games.

At just 20-years old there’s no major rush for the central defender to get in the Swans first team. League Two, under an experienced manager like Gary Johnson, is a great place for him learn. Expect him to a pivotal figure for the U21s in the next international window, but keep an eye on this talented kid.

And that’s Wales Watch done for this weekend.

Let me know you your thoughts. Did I go too hard at the English press, am I bigging Ben up too much? Should Harry go with the U21s where he’ll definitely play? And can Joe Rodon make the break through at Swansea? Till next week. As you were.

Thanks to Andrew Dowling and Influential Photography for the fantastic images in this story.

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  1. Absolutely spot on about Ben Davies.Been wondering what has f happened to young Harry.Good move I think.Probably a good idea for Ben Woodburn as well.Take him at Gladbach anytime.Don’t know too much about Rodin but if he’s playing regularly in the league can only be a good thing,eh?

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