If Huddersfield Town wrap up a deal to reel in Conor Coady they are signing someone who can make a big impression in the Championship.

That’s the verdict of journalist James Shield, who charted the 21-year-old’s progress on loan to Sheffield United from Liverpool last season.

The Liverpudlian England Youth international – a massive fan of Steven Gerrard – helped United climb the League I standings in impressive style and was one of the stars of their FA Cup run to the semi-finals at Wembley, where they lost 5-3 to Hull City.

A versatile midfield player, it’s understood Coady was rated in the £1m bracket as recently as the end of last season, so Shield reckons Town could have got a snip.

“Conor is a proper footballer, someone who is totally focused on improving his game rather than the trappings of success which young players can get distracted by these days,” said Shield, who covers The Blades for the Sheffield Star.

“He is quaintly old fashioned in a very good sense in terms of his attitude and application.

“He is very down-to-earth, extremely hard working both on and off the pitch and not at all fazed by the big occasion.

Conor Coady in action for Sheffield United
Conor Coady in action for Sheffield United
 

“Conor was without doubt one of the players of the season for Sheffield United last term, and it was interesting that he grew as the games got bigger.”

It’s understood Town have agreed a fee in the region of £375,000 for Coady, who made a total of 50 appearances under David Weir – who used his Merseyside connections to make the signing – and then Nigel Clough when he took over at Bramall Lane.

“He is a player who will handle the Championship, no doubt about it,” added Shield.

“And if he develops at the same rate with Huddersfield as he did with Sheffield United – and the season is a half-decent one at the John Smith’s Stadium – then it wouldn’t surprise me if in a year’s time, or 18 months, Huddersfield are struggling to hold onto him. And that’s exactly the sort of ‘problem’ you want.”

Coady’s commitment was underlined on Day One with Sheffield United, as he turned down the chance to travel with Liverpool on their 2013 pre-season tour to Thailand, Australia and Indonesia to attend a friendly at Mansfield in which he wasn’t even playing.

 

Weir, who knew Brendan Rodgers well and got the loan tied up quickly for the Anfield Academy product, played Coady in a deep-lying midfield role and, with the team struggling generally, he was slow to make an impact in his early games.

When Clough took the reins, he played him much further forward, had him driving into the box and was rewarded with six goals, with Coady showing an encouraging knack of being in the right place at the right time.

“That change of position and with the team doing a lot better, it definitely made Conor one of United’s best players during the season,” added Shield.

“They were 21st in the table at the beginning of February and he helped them get up to seventh. He played a massive part in getting them to the brink of the play-offs and, obviously, the FA Cup run.

“He played very well against Hull at Wembley, another illustration of why I say he doesn’t get fazed by the big games.”

While he never played in defence for Sheffield United, he can play centre-back if needed, but Shield reckons he could put a grip on Town’s midfield.

“With Conor there is no flash car, no Louis Vuitton toiletry bag and no tattoos, which is something they really liked about him at Bramall Lane,” added Shield.

“What you are getting is someone who is focused on football, from a very close family, and someone who is a really, really top guy as well.”