As we enter the last international break of 2018, England play one Friendly game and a UEFA Nations League game, against Croatia. The good thing for them is that both games are going to take place at Wembley, saving the players from travelling fatigue.
Manager Gareth Southgate has shown us that he trusts in youth, and manage them to become better. The best example is how his young team went all the way to the semi-finals of the World Cup. He recently handed call-ups to the likes of Jadon Sancho and James Maddison.
However, there is one player who deserves to be in the reckoning for the England squad is – Conor Coady. The Wolves captain has been nothing of phenomenal for the newly-promoted Premier League club.
Under the management of Nuno Espirito Santo, the ex-Liverpool defender is an able centre-back who can defend and also play the ball out from the back, something that is a common trade in the current generation England team.
Let’s analyse Coady’s performances this season and use some of the stats to back the fact that he indeed deserves an England call-up:
In 12 league appearances thus far, Coady has made 0.8 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 2.9 clearances per game. Tactically, if a player operates as a deep-lying centre-back in a back-three, his positional sense would do the majority of his defensive work. Hence, despite the 25-year-old doing a fantastic job, the numbers are just normal.
It is because Coady’s concentration and the ability to read the game and stay a step ahead of the opposition is imperious, to say the least.
Furthermore, he possesses real leadership qualities that have helped Wolves a lot this season. Therefore, it is fair to say that he is a top quality centre-back, who can lead a back-line and make it secure by reading the game well.
England had the trio of John Stones, Kyle Walker and Harry Maguire as a back-three during the World Cup. However, they don’t really have the backups of the same quality (with all due respect to the current defenders in the English national team). Hence, Southgate should have gone with Coady to see how the 25-year-old performs on the international stage.
If it just goes as smoothly as it has done in club football, the latter could become a real asset for the Three Lions in the coming years. From the player’s perspective, with the next international break coming in March, he should be determined to continue showing his qualities to give the England manager no option but to select him.
Stats Courtesy – Whoscored.com
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