England international Conor Coady made his debut for Everton during their 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa in the Premier League yesterday. In spite of the disappointing result the former Wolves star put in a commanding display at the back.
The 29-year-old, whose time at Molineux came to a surprise end this summer, will be a key man for Gareth Southgate at the Qatar World Cup. The centre back moved to the Toffees following the arrival of £20 million new-boy Nathan Collins at Wolves.
Many are calling it a smart piece of business by Everton. Last season, they only just avoided relegation and had been crying out for a leader on the pitch. Now, they have one in Coady who won’t just shine for his new club, but for England in Qatar in November too.
The former Liverpool academy player was aware he needed to play regularly to stand any chance of making Southgate’s squad for the World Cup and at Everton he will be guaranteed a starting spot every week. He has been selected for every England squad since September 2020, including last year’s European Championships. He came ever so close to lifting the trophy but ultimately Italy won the final on penalties.
The Three Lions have plenty of good options at the heart of their defence but with John Stones frozen out at Manchester City and Tyrone Mings being stripped of the captain’s armband at Villa and shorn of confidence, Southgate will likely turn to Coady. He was a regular for Wolves for five years before his sudden transfer and he now has three months to prove himself before boss Southgate names his squad.
Fall from grace
Mings’ fall from grace can be traced back to a loss of form last season and he failed to make Southgate’s recent squads while Stones lost his Etihad spot to Aymeric Laporte and has not featured in City’s first two games of the season.
The other centre back option is Manchester United’s Harry Maguire who has had a torrid start to the new campaign. United have lost both their two opening games against Brighton and Brentford shipping 6 goals in the process.
With three of Southgate’s defenders in poor form, it seems a certainty that rock-solid Coady will be one of the first names on the team sheet. He could be paired with Ben White who has helped Arsenal start the new season with two wins on the trot.