How Coventry can adapt to life after Viktor Gyokeres - The Stratford Observer

How Coventry can adapt to life after Viktor Gyokeres

Stratford Editorial 10th Aug, 2023 Updated: 11th Aug, 2023   0

Coventry City lost their long-term star man Viktor Gyokeres to Sporting Club for around £18 million during the summer window. The Swedish forward had been the Sky Blues’ leading scorer and assister for several seasons in a row.

Despite the departure of such a huge talent, Coventry could go again and seriously contend for Premier League promotion in 2023/24. They have retained all of their regular starters besides Gyokeres, and have even recruited exciting players to compensate for the lost output of their former frontman.

Coventry are slight outsiders for promotion

Coventry are certainly not promotion favourites this season, but they are still predicted to be well in the mix come the business end of the season.

It is not at all a surprise that they are slight outsiders, as they have lost one of the greatest championship players in recent years, but they were far from a one-man team. In EFL Championship odds, Coventry are offered at 5/1 to secure Premier League status for the 2024/25 campaign.

One of the main strengths of Coventry besides their exceptionally talented forward was their incredibly dominant midfield. The likes of Ben Sheaf and Gustavo Hamer were defensively solid at the base of the midfield, yet often made late runs forward and weighed in with goals and assists for the Singers.

After losing their key player it was vital for Coventry to retain all of their remaining stars in order to avoid a rapid decline back down the footballing league. City did just that, arguably the best defensive midfield pivot will remain in place for 2023/24.

Smart acquisitions

In losing the playoff final, Coventry not only missed out on a huge reputation boost in regards to achieving Premier League status but they also were deprived of a huge payday.

Winning the playoffs would have granted the Sky Blues a huge amount of prize money, as well as a share of the huge broadcast revenue the Premier League offers.

The fact Coventry fell at the final hurdle meant that they had to sell Gyokeres, to allow him to further his ambitions within the game, and supply the club with the funds to rebuild the overall squad.

Of the £10 million fees received for the Swedish man, around eight was used to sign United States international Haji Wright from Antalyaspor. He scored 15 goals in the Turkish Super Lig last season and should have no problem replacing Gyokeres’ clinical finishing from close range.

However, Gyokeres was far from just a goalscorer, he was also the leading creative player for Coventry and this needed to be replaced. This was also dealt with in the transfer market.

Tatsuhiro Sakamoto was brought in from KV Oostende over the summer. He is an excellent creative player that can be deployed on either wing. He managed eight assists in the Belgian Pro League last term.

Sakamoto can be deployed from the left, where he cuts in and supplies forward in behind the defence. Alternatively, he can operate as a traditional wide man from the right-hand side, where he can use his agility and strong dribbling technique to beat the fullback relentlessly.

Coventry was always going to find it difficult to replace Gyokeres with a single player, but the American and Japanese stars are the perfect solutions as they can replace the Swede’s output in collaboration.

The Sky Blues should be promotion contenders again this season, and that is largely thanks to retaining a majority of their play-off final team and adding a number of smart acquisitions in the transfer market.

Article written by Chris M

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