Kevin Thelwell shares why Everton refused to sign a reliable centre-back in a bargain deal

Everton’s director of football, Kevin Thelwell, has shed light on the club’s decision to turn down the opportunity to sign Conor Coady for a reduced fee during the summer transfer window. Coady, who arrived at Goodison Park on a loan deal in August 2022, had the option for Everton to secure his services permanently, writes the Goodison.News.

In a recent interview on the Training Ground Guru Podcast, Thelwell confirmed that the decision not to sign the England international permanently was influenced by the club’s commitment to nurturing young talent, particularly Jarrad Branthwaite.

Thelwell explained, “If we go back in time, Yerry Mina hadn’t played a lot, but he finished the season strongly and played a big part in helping us stay up. We could have easily added another year on his contract. Coady came in the building and was a fantastic professional. It would have been very easy for us to sign Conor permanently for a low price, but we decided against that on the back of holding the door open for Jarrad.”

Despite the opportunity to secure Coady for just £4.5 million, Everton opted against a permanent deal, and the 30-year-old eventually joined Leicester City for an initial £7.5 million. Thelwell’s comments suggest that the club prioritized providing opportunities for young talents like Branthwaite, who has impressed this season alongside James Tarkowski.

While the decision may seem surprising considering the relatively low transfer fee, it’s essential to consider the financial aspect, including potential higher wages for an experienced player like Coady. Thelwell’s explanation emphasizes Everton’s commitment to nurturing homegrown talent and maintaining a balanced squad.

The revelation provides insight into the strategic decisions made by Everton’s leadership, balancing the acquisition of experienced players with the development of promising young talents. As the season progresses, Everton’s approach to squad building and player development will continue to be closely scrutinized by fans and pundits alike.