Charlie Savage impresses Rob Page during his Wales debut
Phil Blanche, PA Sport
Rob Page has revealed Charlie Savage will be staying with the Wales squad for the Euro 2024 qualifier with Croatia on Sunday.
Savage, the 20-year-old son of former Wales midfielder Robbie, made his full senior debut on Wednesday as the Dragons cruised to a 4-0 friendly win over Gibraltar in Wrexham.
The Reading midfielder was due to join up with the under-21 side ahead of their European Championship qualifier away to the Czech Republic on Friday.
But Savage and Wycombe central defender Joe Low – who also made his senior debut against Gibraltar – will remain with Page’s squad ahead of the vital Croatia clash in Cardiff.
“We’ll keep Savage and Joe, not just off the back of tonight,” said Wales manager Page. “They’ve done themselves the world of good.
“Sav has earned the right to be with us and I’ve got a lot of time for Joe.
“He’s earned the right to be there with injuries we’ve got.”
Savage claimed an assist for a Kieffer Moore header as Wales brushed aside Gibraltar with all four goals coming in the first half.
Bournemouth striker Moore scored twice to take his Wales goals tally to 12, the same number as Ryan Giggs and one fewer than John Toshack.
Ben Davies, who wore the armband in the absence of injured captain Aaron Ramsey, and Nathan Broadhead were also on target.
“He has taken my advice and left,” Page said of Savage’s move from Manchester United to Sky Bet League One outfit Reading in the summer.
“It must have been hard for him. I spoke to Rob who had to leave United to go to Crewe. It’s no different for Charlie.
“He did it because he’s playing week in week out in competitive football. He trains as he plays and has personality. We blocked Robbie from speaking to him all week which was a big achievement.
“Joking aside, Rob has got his back, he’ll look after him. He’s got his feet on the ground.
“Sav’s best position is an old-fashioned box to box eight. The ball for Kieffer was first class, right on his head. He showed he can do both sides of it and he’s a great talent.”
Wales’ comfortable win saw them secure back-to-back victories for the first time since November 2021.
“The results were not great in June, but it’s how you bounce back and we did that in September with class (winning 2-0 in Latvia),” Page said.
“The environment is brilliant. We won’t get carried away beating Gibraltar, but I see work in progress.
“My challenge to them was to be clinical and we were. We have to put it all together on Sunday.
“We picked a team here knowing what we’ll face on Sunday.
“From the first minute on camp we knew the team we’d pick here and we know the team on Sunday. We are ready and can’t wait for Sunday’s game.”
Wes Burns has returned to Ipswich and will be assessed by his club after the wing-back suffered an arm injury that forced him off in the early stages against Gibraltar.
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