Everton manager Frank Lampard heaped praise on Conor Coady last night, after the star impressed playing in a back four.
The 29-year-old, who is on loan for the season from Wolves, lined up alongside James Tarkowski for the Toffees.
Everton used a back three for their first three Premier League games.
But against Leeds United last night Lampard switched things up, and put Coady in a system that he has previously had difficulty with.
Ultimately, the reason Coady left Wolves was because Bruno Lage changed the system to a back four, with Nathan Collins and Maximilian Kilman his preferred pairing.
Coady headed to Goodison Park in order to get regular game time.
It was very interesting that Lampard decided to go with a system Lage didn’t feel Coady suited.
And the England international gave a good performance against the Whites, leading to praise from his manager.
He said (Everton official): “Absolutely [he proved he’s more than capable of playing in a back four]. Conor is a top player. People probably say [about him only playing in a back three] casually, maybe lazily, because he played in a really good back three and was very, very good in it for a long time at Wolves.
“He’s played in a back four for England. What reason can he not play in a back four? Conor is a player of the level where he is a huge effect on the team in all senses. He just played very well and it was good to see.”
It has been a pretty good start at Everton for Coady.
The star is already earning praise on social media, with many saying he has helped to firm up the backline.
Irony as Coady shines playing in a back four for Everton
It will be very interesting to see if Lampard sticks with playing a back four following Everton’s draw with Leeds.
It was a surprise to see him name that system given how Coady has previously struggled.
But the risk seemed to pay off, and Coady did well. He now needs to prove it wasn’t a one-off display.
It will certainly be very ironic if Everton do permanently switch to a back four and Coady does prove that he can operate comfortably in a pairing.