To sign a Premier League rivals’ captain and regular England international on a loan deal was always going to represent fantastic business for Frank Lampard’s side and Kevin Thelwell deserves a lot of credit for making the transfer happen. Indeed, it could well mark the first transfer masterclass at Goodison Park by the former Wolves recruitment chief.
As a consequence, he is a player Thelwell knows well and he had clearly utilised a pre-existing relationship to seal one of the transfers of the summer.
Coady has started all five games for Everton since he arrived from Molineux, averaging a solid 6.63 rating from WhoScored for his performances, helping the Toffees draw each of their last four games, with that elusive first win surely on the way.
He was unfortunate not to score his first goal for the club as his effort was ruled out by VAR at the weekend, but he barely gave Liverpool’s marquee summer signing Darwin Nunez a sniff, as the Uruguayan managed just 26 touches and six accurate passes.
To keep a shutout against Liverpool is no mean feat but Coady did it with plenty of assurance, making a remarkable 12 clearances during the course of the match. He also managed to keep a pass accuracy of 81% despite that.
The 29-year-old has been consistent at the back, averaging six clearances per game, which is the most of any Everton player, while he has also averaged more passes per game than any other Toffees man, emphasising his ability on the ball with a fantastic assist for Anthony Gordon in the 1-1 draw at Brentford.
Abdoulaye Doucoure spoke about what Coady would bring when he joined from Wolves in August, saying:
“He is going to help us a lot this season. All the times I have played against him, he was a good character and very consistent.
“We are very happy to have him in our team – he is a leader, like another of the new signings, James Tarkowski.”
The fact that Thelwell has been able to add two reliable England centre-backs to his side without spending a transfer fee is superb business and it has helped to considerably improve the Toffees’ defence from last season. In 2021/22, they lost the Merseyside derby 4-1 at Goodison Park and their backline was also dubbed “Championship level” by Jamie Carragher, so the progress is there to see already.
The £26m-rated defender brings experience and quality to Everton’s backline and will surely be a key player throughout the season as Lampard’s side looks to distance themselves from the relegation places, so Thelwell certainly struck gold by bringing him to Merseyside on loan from Wolves.