Nathan Collins' potential arrival at Wolves could mean Conor Coady plays far less in 2022/23
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Nathan Collins' potential arrival at Wolves could mean Conor Coady plays far less in 2022/23

Yesterday evening, reports surfaced that Wolves were closing in on a deal for Burnley star Nathan Collins.

Wanderers fans have had to be very patient so far this summer.

Many have been expressing their frustrations with the club on social media over the past few weeks, with it seeming like Wolves are the only Premier League club not being active in the summer window.

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A number of players have already left Molineux. But it has been all quiet on the incomings front.

But things could be about to change.

A deal for Collins – apparently worth around £20.5 million – is ‘close’ according to John Percy.

And it will be very interesting to see what his arrival would potentially mean for one of the most established players at the club; the captain, Conor Coady.

Coady has been an absolutely fantastic servant for Wolves.

Since his arrival in 2016 for just £2 million, he has racked up 317 appearances for the club across all competitions.

He’s made huge contributions in helping to get Wolves back into the Premier League and established in the top-flight.

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During his time at Molineux, Coady has played in a very niche position – the middle centre-back of a back three. And he has been largely brilliant in that role.

In the 2020/21 season, we saw Nuno Espirito Santo go to a back four a few times, and Coady really struggled.

Bruno Lage reportedly wanted to change Wolves to a back four ahead of 2021/22, but quickly determined he did not have the players to do so. He ultimately stuck with ‘the Nuno system’ throughout the entirety of his first season.

Lage reportedly wants to use different systems in 2022/23, and some are wondering what may happen with Coady, who has arguably been the most established player at the club for years.

If Wolves seal a deal for Collins, it could be that the 29-year-old, who has been virtually ever-present for years, plays far less this coming season.

Conor Coady’s game time at Wolves could decrease dramatically in 2022/23, as Wolves close in on Nathan Collins

If the rumours are true that Lage is looking to convert to a back four this coming season, then it’s very possible we will be seeing Coady on the bench a lot more.

Collins is much more solid than the England international in a back four. Potentially, Lage would turn to him and Maximilian Kilman if that was going to be the system of choice.

Unfortunately, as amazing as Coady is as a captain, playing him in a back four has proven too risky in the past.

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The niche role he has had down the years is perfectly suited for him, and two others either side of him provide him with that protection.

It does helps keeps Wolves relatively tight. But we have also seen countless times the team really lack bite in the final third.

It’s little wonder Lage would like to go to a back four more. And if that does prove to be the case, then Coady may well need to start getting used to the bench. Because Collins is a very good player with big potential, and he would surely start in a four with Kilman.