Conor Coventry has impressed this season at MK Dons, which has left many asking whether he could be Mark Noble’s replacement.
While the 22-year-old struggled to get game time at Peterborough during a previous loan spell, he quickly proved himself at MK Dons, securing himself as a key player in the team’s starting lineup. After playing 75 minutes in his first game at the club, Coventry went on to play the full 90 minutes for every game for the rest of the season.
His defensive efforts helped the team to a third place finish in League One, with the young defensive midfielder also managing a goal and an assist. Playing under the watchful eye of former West Ham coach, Liam Manning, Coventry is in a fantastic position to continue his development. Given his form and ability, alongside the fact that Kral and Noble will be leaving the team, Coventry could certainly be an interesting backup to Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek.
While Coventry appears to have plenty of potential, there are other academy players worth a mention.
Ones to watch…
Armstrong Oko-Flex is excelling in the U23s, having scored 11 goals and claimed two assists in 21 Premier League 2 games. Should he continue to improve, he could potentially be a future backup to Benrahma or Fornals.
Mipo Odubeko struggled to get any game time at Huddersfield before moving to League One side, Doncaster Rovers. Despite playing as a centre forward and playing a part in the majority of games, he has rarely experienced a full game and has only found the back of the net twice in his 16 fixtures.
Other players to keep an eye out for include goalkeepers Anang and Trott, both of which have been in and out of their respective teams. Another is 23-year-old Nathan Holland, who has got five goals and seven assists in his 35 League One appearances.
In my opinion, most of our academy players would benefit from being on loan for another season, however at clubs where they can be utilised and developed. This would give them the greatest opportunity of slotting into the first team when required.