EXCLUSIVE: Wolves captain Conor Coady now a leader with England

Wolves skipper Conor Coady has impressed boss Gareth Southgate enough to become a part of England’s senior leadership team, the Express & Star understands.

England's Conor Coady celebrates (PA)
England's Conor Coady celebrates (PA)

Despite having only played twice for the Three Lions, Coady has turned heads in the national set-up and is now thought to be among the key decision-makers on the playing front.

Southgate, rather than relying solely on one captain, is known to operate with a leadership group and last year revealed Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling had been promoted to it.

And Coady, having helped keep clean sheets against both Denmark and Wales, is believed to be the latest recruit, also joining the likes of Harry Kane, Jordan Henderson and Eric Dier.

“We have this thing about ‘an England captain’, but really the captain is the person that is captain in the next game, isn’t it?,” said Southgate in 2017 about having a leadership group.

“Always the danger in any sport with naming a ‘captain’ is selection. Always there is a danger with form or anything else that it becomes a matter of debate.

“I always just assume you pick a team for a game and the captain of that game is the captain. I think that’s why you need a leadership group."

England play Denmark on Wednesday night (7.45pm) and Coady is hoping to be involved after being an unused substitute for the 2-1 victory over Belgium last Sunday.

The 27-year-old, in his last outing against Wales, scored a rare goal and also donned the captain’s armband for the last half an hour.

He became the first Wolves player to score for England since Steve Bull in 1990, and the first to wear the armband since Emlyn Hughes in 1980.

Meanwhile, Wolves’ Portuguese contingent returned negative tests for Covid-19 while Cristiano Ronaldo had to pull out from the squad following a positive result.

Rui Patricio, Nelson Semedo, Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho and Daniel Podence are set to face Sweden. Those players will be tested again when they return to Wolves.

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