Signed as cover at left wing-back, Todd Kane hasn’t directly resolved that issue but has helped improve the overall level of the squad with his performances on the right. Perhaps a little over-eager to impress in his early appearances for the club, Kane has settled down in recent appearances and demonstrated that he is a solid, consistent performer at Championship level – which represents an improvement on the player he has ended up directly replacing, Julien Dacosta. In fact, that may even be a touch harsh on some of Kane’s better performances for Coventry City, where he has had genuinely decisive impacts on matches.
Todd Kane’s primary asset at right wing-back is in his crossing ability. Earlier in his time at the club, Kane had a tendency to loop in crosses to the back-post that his team-mates were not anticipating, as he has integrated himself into the side, his team-mates are increasingly ready for Kane to put balls into the penalty area and there is more variation in the deliveries that he produces. While Kane can be a little hesitant in pushing up the pitch, mainly due to a lack of pace and dribbling skill, the quantity and quality of crosses he provides is starting to look like a useful asset for the team. It gives the team another kind of threat, away from the quick, combination play that has been the go-to for much of this campaign.
There is now, inevitably, a debate as to which player, out of Todd Kane and Fankaty Dabo, is the best option right wing-back. However, as the two have different strengths and weaknesses, the debate should be less about which player is better and rather which player is the best option for the specific game ahead. There will be games where Todd Kane’s crossing ability will be most useful, there will be others where Fankaty Dabo’s ability to carry the ball up the pitch will be more so – admittedly, Dabo’s current struggles for form shifts that debate. Todd Kane has provided Mark Robins with not just a good option at right wing-back but with something genuinely different to the, nominal, first-choice, which is something that cannot be said about most other areas of the squad.