Wolves captain Conor Coady deserves England call-up

Conor Coady featured in England’s youth sides from U16’s to U20’s, but he has never been called up to play for the first team. Revelling this season at the heart of Wolves five-man defence, they have conceded fewer goals than Manchester United and Arsenal this season, one of just a few reasons why he should be in England’s UEFA Nations League squad.

The Stats

Coady has the highest pass success rate at Wolves, as it stands at a superb 84.8%, which is higher than Paul Pogba, Eden Hazard and Christian Eriksen. An argument against this is that these passes will be sideways, to either Willy Boly or Ryan Bennett, but Coady still makes 7.1 accurate long balls per game – more than any English outfield player. This proves his quality in his passing, but he has also made two goal-line clearances so far this season (only Brighton’s Shane Duffy and Burnley’s James Tarkowski have made more) whilst only conceding 0.3 fouls per game, the least of any English defender in the Premier League.

Conor Coady with a 90th minute goal-line clearance on Boxing day

The System

England have played in a 4-3-3 for the past four games, however Gareth Southgate favoured playing a 3-5-2 variant at the 2018 World Cup, and if Southgate returns to his iconic formation, Coady should play a vital cog. Coady would probably be shifted to the right of John Stones, and Kyle Walker replacing Kieran Trippier at right-back, who has struggled this season. He will also be a great leader in defence, which England lacked at times at the World Cup, as his leadership role models are Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher (from his time at Liverpool), and as only one club captain (Jordan Henderson) was in the England Squad for the World Cup in Russia, adding another would be beneficial.

Skip to 5:03 for an interview Conor Coady did with Robbie Savage on the BBC Premier League Breakfast Podcast

The Difference

Coady would also diversify the England squad in many ways. One of which being his experiences during his growth as a player, as he has grown through English League football playing a season in League One before four seasons in the Championship, unparalleled in the current England squad. Another is to diversify the portfolio of players at England’s disposal, as only four of the 20 outfield players in the current England squad are outside of the ‘Big 6’ (excl. Jadon Sancho at Borussia Dortmund), and Wolves haven’t had a player to feature for the Three Lions since Matt Jarvis replaced Jack Wilshere to play 21 minutes against Ghana in 2011.

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