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Pundit’s Choice: Conor Coady

Pundit’s Choice: Conor Coady

Wolverhampton Wanderers supporters have been reasonably upbeat in recent times despite seeing their side fail to return to winning ways in the Premier League on Sunday.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s men went into their encounter with in-form Arsenal having lost each of their previous three matches in the league, and very much facing a tall order against a Gunners side that hadn’t lost in any competition since August. Yet the West Midlands outfit were just a few minutes away from a famous win as an Ivan Cavaliero goal after 13 minutes gave them the lead, only for Henrikh Mkhitaryan to equalise four minutes from time to secure a 1-1 draw for Unai Emery’s side.

Nonetheless, there have been many satisfied Wolves fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are likely to be interested in recent comments from The Guardian’s Simon Burnton, who has labelled defender Conor Coady as one of the most underrated players in the English top-flight.

In fact, Burnton throughout his piece hinted at an England call-up for the impressive Wolves star, stating that he has ‘precisely the qualities’ to fulfil the role of centre back in Gareth Southgate’s side – and based on his efforts so far this term, he’s absolutely spot on.

Ultimately, the 25-year-old actually came up through the youth ranks at Premier League giants Liverpool but only managed two senior appearances for the Reds, eventually moving to Huddersfield Town back in 2014 only to leave Yorkshire for Wolves a year later.

And the Englishman, capped at various youth levels by his country earlier in his career, has proven to be an absolute revelation in appearing 146 times for the West Midlands outfit in the last three years, 45 of which coming in their sensational season in the Championship last time round.

And while many of his appearances prior to the 2017/18 season came at either right back or in the centre of midfield, Santo deployed him as a centre back in their title-winning campaign last term – a position he has continued to excel in this time round to thus prompt speculation about a possible England call-up.

The 25-year-old has captained Wolves in all 12 of their Premier League matches so far and helped them to four clean sheets in that time, and while many of the pre-season concerns regarding Santo’s side were about the backline, Coady’s influence has helped them to ship just 13 goals so far, fewer than every other side in the bottom half of the division.

And Burnton is absolutely right to point out that he has ‘precisely the qualities’ needed to flourish in England’s defence – the 25-year-old is excellent on the ball and shows great composure even when under pressure, while he also has the more ‘old-school’ capabilities in being aerially strong and good in the tackle to underline his all round traits.

Yes, he didn’t make selection this time round, but further impressive displays in the heart of the Wolves backline could well be of interest to England boss Southgate ahead of 2019 – Burnton is absolutely right to hint at a possible call-up for Coady given just how good he has been for the newly-promoted outfit this term.

Wolves fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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Article title: Pundit’s Choice: Conor Coady

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