URUGUAYAN international Sebastián Coates was brought to Liverpool during August of 2011 by then-manager Kenny Dalglish. The 6ft 5″ centre-back arrived from Nacional, a team competing in his home country and came with a glowing reputation of being a no-nonsense, tough defender.
Signed at just 20 years of age, Coates was clearly a transfer that had the future written all over it but with the potential to stake a claim in the first-team should his performances merit one.
Coates made only twelve appearances throughout the whole of last season, with just seven of them coming in the Premier League.
His season highlight was easily the unforgettable goal he scored against QPR in what turned out to be a forgettable match for the Reds, however, the Uruguayan spent the season as fourth choice behind Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel and Jamie Carragher.
As of this season, Coates has seemingly ousted our legendary number 23 as Liverpool’s third-choice central defender. Nevertheless, with Agger and Skrtel comfortably cementing their place as the number one partnership, chances have been few and far between for the South American.
In 2012/2013, the towering defender has, in half a season, played just nine times for Liverpool with his appearances being spread out across all four competitions – further backing up the claim that he is indeed seen as a squad player as opposed to a first-team player. After only three Premier League appearances there has been talk of a potential move away from Anfield for the Uruguayan with some reports suggesting the notion that it could potentially be permanent or simply a loan deal to allow him the chance to gain some valuable first-team experience.
There have even been whispers that Liverpool have started negotiations with possible replacements for Coates with names such as Modibo Diakite and Davide Astori being linked with the Reds.
Agger and Skrtel have played 43 times between them so far this season and could do with a breather after a busy Christmas period to keep them fresh. Agger is certainly not used to a prolonged run of games after suffering with several long-term injuries in his career so far and Rodgers is running the risk of the Dane suffering another setback by playing him in every game. Coates would relish a few games in the first-team and the big man deserves a chance to show the fans what he is capable of.
I think talk of selling Coates permanently is absurd and, at worst, the Uruguayan should be loaned out to give him a chance of getting first-team football – but not without a replacement being brought in as relying too much on the aging legs of Jamie Carragher would be too much of a risk. The trust is with Rodgers to do the right thing and if he does allow Coates to leave on loan expect a centre-back to be brought in during January.
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