Comment and Analysis @PeteFraser_
Coates verdict: Hit or miss?
As the summer transfer window reaches a crescendo of activity, Sky Sports runs the rule over the high-profile movers in the Premier League. Hit or miss? Read our assessment and offer your own verdict here...
Last Updated: 01/09/14 7:49pm
Coates joined Liverpool in August 2011 in a move from his boyhood club, Nacional in Uruguay, and the centre-back arrived having been voted Best Young Player as his country won the Copa America. But Coates has since made just six Premier League starts due to a combination of form and fitness. Indeed, a knee injury in the summer of 2013 saw him miss most of 2013/14 before returning to Nacional on loan in the second half of that campaign. Coates did manage to earn a place in Uruguay’s 2014 World Cup squad but he made just one appearance, as an 88th minute substitute in the win over England.
“Last season was really difficult. I had a bad injury and after being out for so long it is great to be back fit. I try always to give my best and I know I need to improve more on the other years that I have been here.” (05/08/2014)
Coates will provide the cover Sunderland required for first-choice centre-backs John O’Shea and Wes Brown. He also has past knowledge of the Premier League and the experience gained from being a part of Uruguay’s World Cup squad. Meanwhile, compatriot and Sunderland boss Gus Poyet will hope he can bring the best out of Coates.
Hopes were high at Liverpool when Coates signed with his status as Uruguay’s rising star but he never really looked accustomed to the Premier League. The youngster is still learning his trade but, even before his injury, he at times looked short on the pace and power required in England’s top flight.
Apart from offering a back up to O’Shea and Brown, few Sunderland fans are likely to be overly excited by the arrival of Coates. Unless Poyet has a secret up his sleeve for improving his fellow countryman, this looks like it could be a loan which is quickly forgotten.