He hasn’t kicked a ball over the international break, but Wolves captain Conor Coady has surely moved to the top of the England defender power rankings, if there was even such a thing.
The Three Lions made light work of the Republic of Ireland last week, but were beaten fairly comfortably by Belgium last night in Leuven.
Gareth Southgate again set up with three central defenders and wing-backs, but the personnel of Kyle Walker, Eric Dier and Tyrone Mings just didn’t work.
The trio struggled against the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Dries Mertens and Kevin De Bruyne, and there are now calls for a revert back to a traditional flat back four.
Southgate though, is clearly a big fan of using three central defenders, and if he’s going to persist with the system, then Coady absolutely has to play.
Unable to feature against Ireland and Belgium due to having to self-isolate, Coady was the big winner of last night’s England defeat.
He knows the three-at-the-back system like the back of his own hand, and Southgate would be a fool not to make him a regular in his team from here.
Coady can lead England defence
The five-at-the-back system can work – Southgate just needs to use more attack-minded players in midfield for better balance.
And if it is to remain Southgate’s go-to, then Coady just has to play.
The £2 million star (BBC Sport) has had so much experience with Wolves, it just makes sense he can be the leader back there for England, barking orders at those either side of him.
We will see how England get on against Iceland on Wednesday without Coady again, but the situation sure looks good for the 27-year-old’s starting prospects.