Wolverhampton Wanderers captain Conor Coady confessed that he knew that for him to play regular first team football, he’d have to leave Liverpool. The defender rose through the Reds' academy but could only make one senior appearance for the club before leaving for Huddersfield and then Wolves.
The Reds have produced their fair share of players over the years with Steven Gerrard, Raheem Sterling, Jaime Carragher and a few others all making their way up through the academy. But not all are big names with many struggling to find their way into the Liverpool senior team. That’s a list that has dominated the interweb over the years and its one that includes Sheyi Ojo, Jordan Ibe, Harry Wilson, and Conor Coady amongst others.
However, while many have struggled, Coady has gone on to carve a good career for himself with a successful spell at Huddersfield earning him a move to Wolves. Since then, Coady has simply gone from strength to strength and now captains the Molineux side with them amongst the frontrunners for a Champions League place this season. But in an interview, Coady went onto admit that despite enjoying his time at Liverpool, he knew he had to leave to play first-team football.
"I knew at some point I'd have to come away from Liverpool to really experience being a first-team player. It was the best decision I ever made, and Brendan Rodgers was great for that; he pushed that to send me on loan and try to improve my game. Even being on loan at Sheffield United (in 2013-14), I loved the season and it was a great club for me to go to, coming back I still knew it was going to be tough,” Coady told Sky Sports.
“Liverpool were always getting better, they were always improving, and the players in my position were ridiculous. But I just wanted to play football. I knew where I was at, the type of level I was at, but I just wanted to be part of a first team, playing in games which meant something, playing against men."
The Molineux side have become a fan favourite since they walked back into the league at the start of last season with them playing well above their level. The Championship’s champions finished in a Europa League spot and are currently, alongside Manchester United, one of the few English teams left in a European knockout berth. That change has been attributed to Nuno Espirito Santo and Coady confirmed that fact. The defender also added that the former goalkeeper has transformed the team while sticking to their principles.
"The biggest, really. Since he's come in, he's been fantastic with everybody, he came in with a way of playing. That's been the biggest thing with him. He's never ever changed, there are bits inside the formation and system that changed, in terms of different days we might be playing against different players and teams, but we'll always play the same way.
"Some players might have a little change in their role, a two in midfield, a three up front or whatever, but our tasks will never change on the pitch, and that's what he speaks about the most, our tasks he sets us in the week. That's the biggest thing I think, we've stuck to our principles even from the Championship to come up to the Premier League. He's been fantastic, he's changed the whole direction and dynamic of the club,” he added.