Liverpool news Ben Davies becomes unlikely Liverpool success as talks held with champions PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - Ben Davies is attracting interest ahead of his return to Liverpool this pre-season following his season-long loan with Sheffield United
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! When Ben Davies first joined Liverpool on transfer deadline day in February 2021, the sound-bites from his first interview with the club were what you’d expect from any player making that move to Anfield. With Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez all ruled out for the season with injuries, the defender had been snapped up from Championship Preston North End in an initial £500k deal and had, at that time, looked set to answer Jurgen Klopp’s defensive injury crisis. “It’s a huge opportunity, yeah,” the defender admitted at the time. “Obviously it came as a bit of a surprise when it first came out but once you start to get your head around it, the opportunity that is in front of me is incredible and I’d be silly to let it wash up or not make the most of it and [I’ll] try to learn off the players. “I think a football career is so short and you need to try to be on that pitch as much as you can. So when this door is open, I look to come in and try to get in the first team, play some games and help the team do well. READ MORE: Sadio Mane makes blunt Liverpool exit admission after Bayern Munich transfer READ MORE: Liverpool might face an even bigger blow than Sadio Mane exit “I want to come in and play games to start with, I want to get my foot in the door and make myself a Premier League player rather than obviously a Championship player. And then take it from there really. “I know we’ve got some top players here and players I can certainly learn from. Once you get your foot in the door then you’re here as well. Hopefully I can take my chance and then move forward with it. “I’m looking forward to coming in and playing in front of everyone and showing everyone what I can do. I’m sure a lot of fans and people don’t know [me], or haven’t even seen me play. It’s definitely an exciting time and I think they’ll quite enjoy watching me when I’m playing well.” Nothing amiss there. Despite being a surprise signing, in the circumstances he had every reason to believe he would be turned to by Klopp in the months ahead following his move to Anfield. Yet his manager’s comments at the time demonstrated this was no normal transfer for Liverpool, with the Reds hoping rather than expecting that the centre-back would be able to write something of a Reds fairy-tale. “What I like about Ben is it just shows that each situation creates opportunities,” Klopp said. “I think it’s probably clear that in a normal transfer window, without any issues, we would not look at Preston if there’s a player for us or something like that. It’s not really likely. “But since we saw him and since our situation got clearer and clearer – the problems we had – when we saw him we got really excited about it and thought, ‘Wow.’ Read More Related Articles Roberto Firmino Liverpool 'leaving date' named by Sir Kenny Dalglish signing Read More Related Articles Liverpool 'ready' to exploit contract stalemate of £132,000-per-week star “We see the potential really. We see the quality and we see the potential as well because he’s 25 and there’s a lot to come for him…I know for him it’s an opportunity and I see it exactly the same for us, that it’s a really good thing to do. “The fact that he said yes shows he is confident. That’s exactly what we need. ..It can be a wonderful story and it’s all about Ben and me to make sure this story will be really great.” Yet, a year and a half on, and Davies’ Anfield career is instead something of a non-story.
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. Signed alongside Ozan Kabak in February 2021, Davies was left to watch on as the Turk was turned to alongside the likes of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho before Nat Phillips finished the season as first-choice. And even when the Schalke loanee was struck down by injury, it was Rhys Williams who was called up to take his place with the former PNE defender left an unused spectator. In his first half-season at Anfield, he’d warm the bench eight times with only four coming in the Premier League. His first start would come in a 30-minute behind closed doors training ground friendly with Wacker Innsbruck in July 2021, while his only other summer outing saw him granted a 10-minute late substitute appearance at home to Osasuna last August in Liverpool’s final warm-up game before the start of the new Premier League season. With Van Dijk, Matip and Gomez firmly back in the fold last summer, Davies dropped down the pecking order without ever kicking a ball in Red. Sent on loan to Sheffield United two weeks later as a result, he would then endure mixed fortunes at Bramall Lane as the manager who signed him, Slavisa Jokanovic, was sacked, before he found himself in and out of the team as the Blades lost in the play-offs. Set to link up with Liverpool following his return from Sheffield United on July 4, his situation at Anfield has not improved. As a result it would be easy to dismiss Davies as a panic-buy that, however cut-price and low-risk, ultimately backfired. Yet the Reds will have no regrets about signing the defender despite his lack of game-time, even if it’s a transfer they might avoid to repeat in future. After all, his presence ensured their defensive crisis in 2020/21 did not worsen and provided competition to the likes of Phillips to cement his own starting berth in the first place. Signed for an initial £500k, his transfer from Preston could have eventually been worth £1.6m thanks to add-ons, though his fortunes on Merseyside have ensured those add-ons have not been activated. Meanwhile, by demanding a £500k loan fee last summer, Liverpool have already made that initial outlay back by sending Davies on loan to Sheffield United. And now they look set to make a comfortable profit on a player who never kicked a ball for the club. The ECHO understands that both Middlesbrough and Celtic are interested in signing the defender this summer, and while neither have placed bids as yet, both have made contact with Liverpool. Such interest should not be a surprise, considering Celtic had been poised to sign Davies from Preston before the Reds swooped in back in 2021, while Sheffield United’s interest dated back to Chris Wilder’s time at the club, with the Boro boss particularly keen to bring the 26-year-old to the Riverside Stadium. Meanwhile, it’s understood Liverpool would be looking for an overall package worth around £4m for Davies, with club insiders pointing to the deals Rangers did with Brighton & Hove Albion and Bologna when signing Connor Goldson and Filip Helander in 2018 and 2019 as a framework for such a fee. However, they are aware, such a package would have to be incentivised to reach such a potential figure rather than it being guaranteed. As a result, club bosses can consider the signing of Davies, however unorthodox, a success. In truth, the defender himself is the only fall-guy having been left in limbo and unable to achieve what he set out to on Merseyside, yet the experience has still enabled him to train under Klopp while playing alongside the likes of Van Dijk and test himself against the likes of Mohamed Salah in training. Reds fans might have never witnessed any of this on the pitch but it still gave the defender a platform to improve on, even if he ultimately fell short in making himself a Premier League player rather than a Championship one. With the likes of Phillips and Rhys Williams likely to follow Billy Koumetio out of the door, either temporarily or on loan, Davies could actually climb the Liverpool pecking order during pre-season with there being a vacancy for a fifth-choice centre-back as a result. Yet it is ultimately one he is unlikely to be interested in. While a loan exit hasn’t been ruled out at this time, following his temporary switch to Sheffield United, a permanent departure is much more likely with the 26-year-old wanting to sort his future out once and for all. Only Davies will be able to answer just how he reflects on his time at Liverpool when his Reds career comes to an end, with it undeniably being a frustrating time and one that failed to live up to expectations. But while it never worked out as planned for the defender, it has certainly been an experience both player and club have learnt from. READ MORE: Liverpool could sign £85m Inter Milan star to unleash midfield revolution READ MORE:Michael Owen 'struggling' to understand Liverpool striker transfer decision READ MORE: Nike 'consider' major Liverpool kit change as PSG offer planned READ MORE: Mohamed Salah contract stand-off leaving FSG with double Liverpool risk READ MORE: Liverpool might have already signed next Kevin de Bruyne for £4.3m
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