Josh Wilson-Esbrand

Position: Left-Back

Age: 20 *

At Club Since: January 2023 (On Loan From Manchester City)

Total Club League Appearances (Goals): 2(0) *

In what has been a recurring theme of this season’s recruitment, Coventry City have added yet another incredibly young defender on loan. Josh Wilson-Esbrand arrives with all of the usual tags of ‘highly-rated’ and ‘next big thing’, but with just a few senior appearances under his belt, just what standard he might be at relative to Championship level will only be known once he starts playing. Having played a few times in the Champions League for Manchester City, it would appear that Wilson-Esbrand is seen as first-team prospect at the Premier League champions at this stage in his career. However, being able to play regular senior football and affect games at Championship level will test Wilson-Esbrand both physically and mentally in ways he is yet to.

As a Manchester City academy product, one of the most notable things apparent in Josh Wilson-Esbrand’s playing style – based on the little footage there is freely available of him – is that he looks to retain possession from a full-back position. While there are signs of Wilson-Esbrand possessing the pace and skill to be able to beat opponents, one of the key parts of his transition to the better shade of Sky Blue will be in playing in a more direct manner as the wing-back position demands. The reason why Wilson-Esbrand has been signed is to give Coventry City the ability to stretch opponents and get behind them in wide areas, if he tucks inside and mainly looks to keep the ball, that won’t give the team the thrust that is being looked for.

With all of the clubs loan signings at the moment being young defenders, the concern with Josh Wilson-Esbrand is that he may tip the balance a little too far towards inexperience in a crucial area of the pitch. Of course, Wilson-Esbrand’s lack of experience will matter less if he proves to simply be a very good player, but it cannot be stated with authority yet whether he will improve this team, or even play regularly. To have signed so many loan players of Wilson-Esbrand’s profile speaks to Coventry City’s current standing in the wider footballing world. As a stop-gap ahead of what could be a big rebuild over the summer, the hope is that players like Wilson-Esbrand raise the bar for the team, the worry is if it becomes a long-term crutch and what happens when a bad batch arrives.

*As of 02/03/2023

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