Even on a free transfer the Merseyside Messi might be too much of a transfer risk for Coventry City

One player whom Coventry City fans have craved to return to the club more than most since leaving back in the summer of 2020 has to be Liam Walsh. Still only 26, the dynamic midfielder is a free agent this summer after being released by Swansea City at the end of his three year contract.

The former Everton Academy graduate slotted straight in with the Sky Blues when he joined the club on a season-long loan in League One in September 2019, making 35 appearances and scoring five goals. Included in his tally was the unforgettable solo dribble from the halfway line when he beat four Rochdale players before picking his spot to bag the goal of the season and earn the nickname the 'Merseyside Messi'.

Playing his part in the curtailed campaign in which City went up as champions, Walsh’s career have never been the same since. Initially returning to parent club Bristol City, his career has been dogged by injury. He played just three times in his first season back at Ashton Gate before moving to the Liberty Stadium on a free transfer.

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But he continued to be set back by problems and managed just ten games in the first of his three year contract with the Swans, and even fewer (just seven) the following term (2022/23), including an eye-catching 68 minutes of a goalless draw against the Sky Blues to leave many supporters with renewed enthusiasm for the undoubted talent.

Walsh managed 20 games this last season, scoring two goals – one against Coventry in a 2-2 CBS Arena draw – but suffered a calf injury in the following match which kept him out until April, and has now been let go and finds himself looking for another club. It appears to be a fairly straight-forward scenario, if he can stay fit then he’s a top player at this level. But that injury record may well make many Championship clubs think twice, and he may have to drop down a level to prove his fitness with a full season under his belt before kicking on again.

It’s such a shame that such a naturally gifted player has been hampered so cruelly by fitness setbacks. Mark Robins’ men could do with a player of that ilk but it would surely be too much of a risk to take a player with such a track record.

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