Birthdate: 7 October 1990
Birthplace: Montevideo, Uruguay
Other clubs: Nacional (2001-11), Sunderland (loan, 2014-15; transfer 2015-)
Bought from: Nacional
Signed for LFC: £4.9m, 30.08.2011
International debut: 23.06.2011 vs. Estonia
International caps: 17/0 (9/0 at LFC) - 20.06.2015
Liverpool debut: 18.09.2011
Last appearance: 19.05.2013
Debut goal: 21.03.2012
Last goal: 20.09.2012
Contract expiry: 01.07.2015
Win ratio: 54.17% W: 13 D: 3 L: 8
LFC league games/goals: 12 / 1
Total LFC games/goals: 24 / 2
Despite his young age, Sebastian Coates Nion already possesses quite an impressive CV. After spending a few years in Nacional's youth teams he broke into the first team when he was 18. He had by then already featured in the South American Under-20 Championships where Uruguay finished third impressing the watchful eye of Damien Comolli who followed his progress ever since. Coates came into Nacional‘s side when three months were left of the 2008/09 season winning the championship and reaching the semi-finals of Copa Libertadores. His progress was rewarded with the honour of being voted the Uruguayan Championship‘s "Revelation of the Season." Another league title followed in 2011 and he made his international debut only a week before Copa America 2011 when coming on as a substitute in a 3-0 win over Estonia. Coates featured in four out of Uruguay‘s six matches in Copa America, including the 3-0 win over Paraguay in the final. He collected three yellow cards in the process as well as the "Trophy Claro" for being the Best Young Player of the Tournament. He was a rock alongside his partner at the centre-half, the legendary Diego Lugano, prompting his nickname "Luganito“ or little Lugano. The Uruguayan’s reputation was at an all-time high at the time of his arrival in England little more than a week after Liverpool allowed 32-year-old central defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos to move to Wolfsburg. Coates is twelve years his junior and was given the same squad number, 16, that the tall Greek defender had used. Coates himself is a strapping 6 feet 6 inches (196 cm.), a strong header both in his own area and the oppositions‘, comfortable on the ball and will never shirk out of a tackle.
Coates was sought after by many big clubs such as Paris St Germain, AC Milan, Atletico Madrid and Manchester City but he says that his talk with compatriot Luis Suarez made up his mind to join Liverpool because he had told him a lot about the fans and the club‘s history. With centre-back being a position for which the first-team squad seemed to have adequate cover, it wasn't a major surprise that Coates only appeared in a dozen matches in 2011/12. What was surprising was the astonishing agility he showed to score with a stupendous volley at Queens Park Rangers in March because frankly nobody had seen that coming, probably not even the player himself! The successful partnership of Agger and Skrtel kept Coates out of the first 11 in 2012/13 and Brendan Rodgers preferred the experience of Jamie Carragher to the youthful exuberance of the Uruguayan if cover was needed. The tall Uruguayan only played in a dozen matches in 2012/13, the same number of appearances he had made in 2011/12. Coates was picked to play in the first home Premier League match of the season against Manchester City but only made eight more starts in the rest of the season. He played in three Europa League ties and scored his only goal of the season in the opening group match against Young Boys in Bern, a header that restored Liverpool's lead after the Swiss club had equalised to make the score 2-2. A knee injury received during a friendly international match against Japan in August 2013 kept Coates on the sidelines for the whole of the 2013/14 season.
The 23-year-old made a good recovery from his injury, good enough to be named in Uruguay's squad for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil where he only featured for a couple of minutes, coming on for Luis Suarez immediately after the striker had put his country 2-1 ahead in the second group match in São Paulo. Coates moved on a season-long loan to Sunderland on the final day of the summer transfer-window of 2014. He made ten Premier League appearances for Sunderland in 2014/15 and also played twice in the FA Cup and once in the League Cup. Sunderland were again involved in a fight against relegation but eventually survived in 16th place with 38 points from 38 matches, partly due to an unbeaten run of five matches in April/May (all of which Coates played in). Coates impressed the Sunderland hierarchy enough to earn himself a permanent move in the summer of 2015.