Why West Ham fans will be happy with Coventry’s MK Dons loan

Mark Noble urged him not to go on loan to Peterborough, but a spell at MK Dons should bring out the best in Conor Coventry

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 18th January 2022, 2:10 pm
<p>Conor Coventry was urged by West Ham skipper Mark Noble to stay with the Hammers rather than go on loan to Peterborough earlier this season</p>

Conor Coventry was urged by West Ham skipper Mark Noble to stay with the Hammers rather than go on loan to Peterborough earlier this season

West Ham fans had high hopes for Conor Coventry this term. An impressive pre-season campaign for David Moyes’ side had many thinking he was the next off the production line, following in the footsteps of Declan Rice towards Hammers legacy. After a disappointing loan spell at Peterborough though, hopes for the 21-year-old could yet be rekindled with more game time on offer at MK Dons.

After being chased all summer long by Darren Ferguson, Peterborough landed their man and planned to line him up alongside his Republic of Ireland U21s central midfield partner Jack Taylor. Coventry’s potential was underlined after the midfielder recently revealed Hammers skipper Mark Noble advised him to stay at West Ham and fight for his place this season rather than join Peterborough.

But Posh’s capture of Oliver Norburn from Shrewsbury threw a spanner in the way of Coventry’s progress. Norburn’s experience, with more than 200 games under his belt, saw him take little time in adapting to the Championship and his form kept Coventry on the sidelines.

There were glimmers of his potential at Peterborough though, but their battle to remain in the division did not afford for much opportunity for Coventry to blood himself. West Ham’s plans for the youngster though clearly did not match with those at Posh, and he was recalled. The rough and tumble of EFL football is not for the faint-hearted and impressing in the U23s does not often reflect in glowing first team outings. But Coventry seems to have that in his locker.

A box-to-box midfielder with a goal in him, and someone who loves to get stuck in defensively as well, Coventry appears to fill the space left by Ethan Robson, who saw his loan-spell ended by Blackpool on Monday. With David Kasumu injured again, that little bit of bite in the centre of the park, acting as a foil for Matt O’Riley to pull the strings is what brought the best out of Robson.

That central role is key in helping Dons tick over, picking up the ball just in front of the back three and drawing in opposition players before offloading, and Coventry could fit that bill.

And while he found first team opportunities hard to come by at the ABAX Stadium, those same opportunities will be far more abundant 55 miles south at Stadium MK.