As Sunderland secured Premier League survival in the final few games of the season, one of the players to shine was on loan defender Sebastian Coates.
The Black Cats are now reportedly looking to secure Coates on a permanent deal as his loan spell from Liverpool ends. It appears that the centre-back is also on Nigel Pearson’s radar as Leicester City look to strengthen for their second Premier League campaign.
With only a year remaining on Coates’ contract at Liverpool, the Reds will need to decide whether to allow him to leave Anfield this summer for a fraction of the £7 million they paid Nacional for him in 2011.
Opta-powered fantasy football game www.oulala.com have looked at the 24-year-old against another Liverpool centre-back, £20 million Dejan Lovren, and the stats suggest that Liverpool should think carefully before allowing the Uruguayan to move on.
As Coates made 10 appearances in a Sunderland shirt, while Lovren played 26 games for Liverpool, the comparison was made on a per game basis.
The 24-year-old made more tackles (1.9 to 1.4), more interceptions (3.3 to 1.9) and more blocks (1 to 0.2) per game. While Lovren led Coates for clearances per game only (7.9 to 5.4).
Coates also excelled aerially winning 74% of his battles in the air to Lovren’s 72% and has made far fewer mistakes at the back. Lovren made a total of 6 defensive errors in the Premier League last season to just 1 from Coates.
Liverpool will be looking to regroup and rebuild after a disappointing season. With Raheem Sterling and Brendan Rodgers making all the headlines, could the uncertainty surrounding Sebastian Coates be just as important to Liverpool’s future?