Conor Cody, captain fantastic departs
What can we say but there will be more than a few tears shed over the exit of Conor Coady. The man has been integral to the Wolves team, his name has been permanently inked on the team sheet and inked into the hearts of many Wolves fans.
Coady will certainly bolster Everton’s defensive options after Ben Godfrey fractured his leg in the 1-0 defeat to Chelsea on Saturday and will be a superb asset for Frank Lampard’s team.
Conor has played with Wolves for 7 years and many expected him to be a casualty of the Nuno era but Nuno recognised the talent he offered. Nuno moved him from midfield to a defensive role, nurtured and developed his skills and played a massive role in making him the defender and captain he is today. From this point Coady’s footballing credit grew immensely and after lots of hard work he was rewarded with a call up to the England side.
This isn’t to say that Bruno doesn’t rate Conor’s skills and ability, it’s simply he feels he has better options in his preferred system of a back four. Coady can play in a back four, he’s done it for England but in the Premier League you need more pace and agility to deal with those flying forwards and the younger Kilman and Collins are better equipped to deal with this. Everton on the other hand tend to operate with a back five and Coady could slot in alongside Yerry Mina and James Tarkowski, another Everton summer signing.
Conor leaves on a season long loan to Everton with an option to buy. Wolves never disclose fees but has been rumoured to be in the region of £12m to £15m. This seems a paltry fee when you consider his is an experienced English centre back and at 29 still has a good playing career ahead of him.
Conor's key attributes
One of Coady’s key skills is his ability to distribute a ball out to the wings or up the field with incredible accuracy and Wolves will clearly miss this. We have plenty of skilful defenders but this is one of the key skills Everton will get in their new defender.
Leadership has been another of Coady’s qualities, we’ve seen him week in, week out organising the defence, encouraging the players and taking charge of the team. Wolves don’t have another defender who will take up this role and execute it to the degree that Conor has and Ruben Neves is now the first choice for the armband. Conor has truly stamped his name on the captaincy and been an inspirational leader of the pack. Frank Lampard is clearly an admirer of Conor Coady and his leadership skills is surely one of the key reason he wants him in his team.
What happens if the back four experiment fails and there is no Conor to pick up the reigns? This question is key, and would suggest that Bruno doesn’t intend to switch to 3 at the back and has probably had this conversation with Conor leading the player to feel he needs an alternative option to warming Wolves bench. With the World Cup on the horizon Conor needs to be playing to be in contention and I’m sure this has a part to play in his decision to move to Everton.
Wolves chairman Jeff Shi said: “Conor has been an integral part of our success over the last five seasons, and loyal servant to the club over his seven years at Molineux. His dedication to Wolves in that time means that we choose not to stand in the way of his desire to play football elsewhere, and he leaves with our best wishes.
“Even when emotionally it can be hard to part after everything we have been through together, it is important for me to look at the wider picture and make difficult decisions. A huge thank you to Conor for everything he has achieved at Wolves, and for being an outstanding person, on and off the football pitch.”
Thank you Conor
Conor has been an inspiration to many, he has been a fantastic ambassador for the Wolves Foundation and his work and commitment to the community of Wolverhampton is an example to every footballer.
Conor Coady has been a superb servant for Wolves, he is our captain and we will always hold him in high esteem. Wolves fans should send him off to Everton wishing him every success and happiness after all he will always be a wolf.
Conor coady - a few facts
- His career began at the Liverpool academy as a 12-year-old, and he went on to captain the under-21 side and make two senior appearances for the Merseyside club against Anzhi Makhachkala and Fulham.
- While at Anfield, the youngster received his first taste of international football with England, all the way up to under-20 level – seven years before his first senior call-up.
- It was a season-long loan at Sheffield United which whetted Coady’s appetite for regular football and that’s what he got when signing for Huddersfield Town on a permanent basis, and at Wolves following his 2015 move.
- After two years in the old gold midfield, Coady made the switch to defence in the summer of 2017 under Nuno Espirito Santo and helped Wolves to 24 Championship clean sheets on their way to the league title in 2017/18.
- Enjoying his first crack at the Premier League, Coady led Wolves to two seventh placed finishes, an FA Cup semi-final and the Europa League quarter-final.
- That led to a first senior England call-up and a first international goal against Wales, which helped him become a member of Southgate’s squad which finished runners up at Euro 2020.
- A first Premier League goal against Manchester City in March 2021 got the ball rolling in front of goal back at Wolves, and the defender added four big goals to his collection the next campaign, including a winner at Everton and late equaliser at Chelsea.