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‘I found it easy to leave Anfield and I knew Liverpool would accept my transfer decision’

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Liverpool has allowed a number of players to depart over the years and while some have struggled elsewhere, others have flourished and made careers for themselves.

While the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Steven Gerrard have lived the boyhood dream of young footballers coming through the ranks at Liverpool, many more have had to accept their careers lay elsewhere. And despite Jürgen Klopp regularly giving youth a chance this season, first-team opportunities can be few and far between.

Having joined the Reds aged just 12 in 2005, Conor Coady was one of the most highly-rated prospects in the Liverpool set-up, playing in a central midfield role. After a few unused substitute appearances, Coady, who was also Under-21s captain, finally made his debut in a Europa League match in 2012 under Brendan Rodgers.

Liverpool would lose that match and Coady had to wait until the penultimate game of the Premier League season to feature again. On that occasion, he came on as a late substitute in a win at Fulham.

That would turn out to be England international Coady’s only involvement in the Liverpool first-team as he joined Sheffield United on loan in 2013, before a permanent exit to Huddersfield the following summer. And looking back on his departure, Coady admits he knew the time was right to move on.

“It’s funny because so many people ask me this question, what was it like leaving Liverpool, and I’ll be honest with you, I don’t want this to sound bad in any way, but it was easy because I was desperate to play footy,” he told More Than a Game podcast.

“I was realistic and was always a bit mature. I looked at people in front of me and thought ‘how am I getting in here?’ I knew it was going to be harder to play more games and I’d had a sniff of senior football. I made the decision myself but I knew the club would allow it.

“When I was on loan, Liverpool nearly won the league and I remember going back in pre-season but I just knew it was time. I knew Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, Lucas Leiva and Joe Allen were ahead of me and I wasn’t going to get in.

“Brendan pulled me over and suggested about going to Huddersfield and I wanted it. I had been there all my life but I had the year on loan and I was desperate to play again.”

Coady, 30, would go on to make his name and become an England regular at Wolves, where he captained the club to promotion. After last season’s loan spell at Everton, he is now looking to secure a return to the Premier League with Leicester.

 

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