The most significant pieces of Coventry City’s summer transfer activity saw Dominic Hyam and Jake Clarke-Salter at centre-back replaced by the much younger and inexperienced duo of Callum Doyle and Jonathan Panzo. Of the two new additions, Jonathan Panzo has been able to hold onto his place in the side for the longest, but this has been a season characterised by defensive issues and Panzo has had his part to play in that. While it should be caveated that Panzo is young and has scope to improve, his lack of experience has been something Mark Robins has had to manage.
On paper, there is a lot to like about Jonathan Panzo. Tall, quick, competitive and comfortable on the ball, he has everything in his locker to be a very good centre-back. However, defending is about more than raw attributes and it has been apparent on more than a few occasions that Panzo lacks the nous more experienced defenders have. For someone of his physical stature, a key issue that he struggles to impose himself on opposing forwards without giving away fouls. With positional discipline another challenge for Panzo, there is clearly a lot for him to learn before he can project confidence as a defender. The positives are that he very enthusiastic and quick, which can get him out of trouble at times.
Jonathan Panzo’s shortcomings in his first ten games for Coventry City are mainly down to a lack of experience, rather than a lack of talent. The big positive for Panzo as part of this loan move is that he is very likely to be able to continue to play regular football, which provides him with scope for improvement. Ideally, Coventry City wouldn’t be in a position where they are having to shepherd young players through the awkward early phase of their development – and for the benefit of another club – but there is still time in this season for Jonathan Panzo to settle himself down at Championship-level and begin to impose himself as a defensive force. Currently, Panzo is someone who could be good but has yet to fully learn his trade.