Everton will get to keep Coady despite Wolves upheaval

Everton (Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images) /

Wolverhampton Wanderers have sacked manager Bruno Lage and whoever takes over at the Midlands club might very well want Everton on-loan defender Conor Coady back at Molineux.

Coady has been in superb form for Everton since his loan move back to his native Merseyside from Wolves during the summer transfer window.

It was one of the most unexpected transfers of the summer when the Toffees’ secured the services of the England international centre-back.

Very suprisingly, Wolves then boss Lage was prepared to sanction a transfer for a player who had been integral to his predecessor Nuno Espirito Santo’s side and the success they had enjoyed.

Coady had been outstanding in Santo’s three-man central defence as Wolves had won the Championship and then after promotion to the Premier League, finished seventh and qualified for Europe.

Santo’s successor though was ready to move to a back four this season after adding several new young defenders, and it as felt by him that Coady wouldn’t suit such a defensive formation so his move to Goodison Park was on.

The decision by Lage to let a hugely experienced, consistent and solid all-round central defender depart his club, was a very strange one in my opinion.

Defenders with those qualities are rare in the Premier League and it was very odd for a club to let such a footballer go and to a rival like Everton.

Wolves willingness to let Coady leave, alerted manager Frank Lampard and Director of Football Kevin Thelwell (who knew Coady from his own time at Wolves) moved quickly to bring him in on a season-long loan deal.

Coady joined another astute defensive addition, James Tarkowski, who had signed as a free agent after Burnley’s relegation at the end of last season.

The two of them represented excellent business by the Blues’ brains trust. Both are strong, natural defenders with plenty of club and international experience and were signed without a penny being spent in transfer fees.

After injuries to Ben Godfrey and Yerry Mina on opening day, Coady seamlessly slotted into the three-man central defence which Lampard was initially employing, until another injury to Mason Holgate forced the manager to revert to a back four.

It was of course immensely frstrating to see all those injuries so soon after the start of the season, but maybe it will prove to be a blessing in disguise.

First of all it meant Lampard had to go with a 4-3-3 formation or some variation of it, something I have long been a strong advocate for.

This allows Lampard’s side to control games better and he could deploy both his new signings Amadou Onana and Idrissa Gueye alongside the rejuvinated Alex Iwobi in the middle.

And, it allowed us to see Coady and Tarkowski quickly develop a very solid partnership in the heart of the defence. That defence now has the best goals-against record in the Premier League.

Finally, it also benifitted the two young full-backs Vitalii Mykolenko and Nathan Patterson who look more comfortable in a defensive four. The Scot especially, has thrived playing as a dynamic right-back providing great width and strong defensive work as well.

Coady and Tarkowski now seem indispensible to this Everton team and the ex-Wolves man’s performances are giving a lie to any doubts about his ability to play in a two-man central defence.

The former Liverpool reserve has also become a leader in the Toffee’s dressing room with a nickname of ‘Dad’ having already been given to him.

Coady and Tarkowski’s form also means the Blues’ don’t have to rely on injury-prone Yerry Mina in particular, as they have had to so long, and have the luxury of using the Colombian as a back-up centre-half.

The terms of Coady’s loan means that whoever takes over in the Molinuex hotseat, can’t recall him if he wants to as there is no clause to enable Wolves to do so.

Wolves loss has been Everton’s gain and the Toffees’ also have an option to buy at the end of the season included in the deal.

And if Coady continues to put in efforts like we’ve seen in the Merseyside derby and at Southampton last weekend where he scored his first goal for the Blues’, plenty of supporters will be wanting the club to make his move permanent.