Reports in the Sun claimed last month that Newcastle United were set to battle it out for the signature of Wolverhampton Wanderers captain Conor Coady in the January transfer window.
The 24-year old former Liverpool academy graduate has grown into one of Wolves’ most important players this season, leading them to the top of the table in the EFL Championship after 20 rounds of fixtures. His performances haven’t gone unnoticed, with the likes of West Bromwich Albion also monitoring the versatile player.
With the Baggies working on sorting out their managerial issues, having recently sacked Tony Pulis, should Newcastle act on the opportunity and look to sign Coady?
Coady, this season, for the Wolves, has featured in 20 games in all competitions and has been exceptional for his club. A central midfielder by trade, the former Liverpool man has been asked to fill in as a centre-back by manager Nuno Espirito Santo this term and Coady has taken to his new role like how a duck takes to water. Add to that, the former England U20 international can also fill in at full-back in an equally competent manner, making him a great option to have in the ranks for any manager.
Newcastle could more than use a player of his quality in their ranks. The Magpies are stationed at 14th place in the Premier League table after 14 matches, on their return to the top-flight. While they had been fairly solid at the back for large parts of the season, a recent injury to captain Jamaal Lascelles has left them vulnerable at the back to some extent.
The midfield area too has been weak at times, with the likes of Jonjo Shelvey and Isaac Hayden not being able to offer the solid defensive screen that their backline would need in the “sit back and hit on the counter” style of play that manager Rafael Benitez deploys at the St. James’ Park.
Coady will be able to help out in both the positions with his exceptional versatality and adaptability. The tough-tackling midfielder has shown he can hold his own against the best of the teams, having played a stellar game in the EFL Cup tie against Premier League favourites Manchester City, holding them to 0-0 until extra time, before losing out on penalties.
Benitez too will have seen and known the player’s talents and abilities, given that it was towards the end of the Spaniard’s era as the Liverpool manager that the Englishman started to flourish in the Merseyside outfit’s youth ranks.
Signing the 24-year old from Wolves in January will help Benitez and Newcastle strengthen their squad in multiple areas, given the options that he would provide to the manager with his versatile nature, which in turn would further aid their push to break into the top-10 of the Premier League in the second-half of the season. Go for it Rafa!