EOTK have spoken to Preston North End fansite From The Finney about our new signing Ben Davies.
Here’s all you need to know!
What kind of player is Ben Davies?
The first word that springs to mind is “classy”. Everything Davies does, with and without the ball, is composed. He’s an intelligent defender, rarely going to ground unless he needs to, and his reading of the game means he rarely breaks sweat.
He’s quick, if a bit lightweight, but his mobility allows him to defend large spaces with ease. With the ball at his feet he excels with his ability to pass and carry the ball, and being left footed just makes him look even classier.
How good has he been for Preston and are you surprised Liverpool have come in for him?
Davies has been PNE’s best defender pretty much since the moment he got a run in the side, at the start of the 2017/18 season. He has improved season on season, with his confidence improving, and he has blossomed into a leader. He has led by example defensively, and he takes responsibility with the ball for us now.
He is simply a class above any other defender at the Club and he elevates those around him. In terms of Liverpool’s interest, I was slightly surprised. A move to Celtic appeared to be sewn up, but a move to the SPL would’ve been too easy for him.
How high is his ceiling – are we talking about a player who could become a starter and play for England?
I think being left footed centre back instantly raises his ceiling. There’s certainly a dearth of them in England. If he was right footed, he probably wouldn’t stand out as much as there are plenty of pacey and classy right footed centre backs around.
Davies has all of the tools to become a successful player at Premier League level – he’s quick, he’s mobile, he’s intelligent and he’s comfortable on the ball. Premier League level though is different to Liverpool level. He is lacking upper body strength and has been dominated by Championship strikers at times, however that is something he’s improving upon.
Under Klopp’s coaching and with some time spent in Liverpool’s gym, he can definitely bulk up and become more imposing. His ceiling is certainly high and if he becomes more of a beast, he will have a good chance at an England cap.
What kind of a lad is he … Jurgen Klopp doesn’t sign idiots, famously!
You can be safe in knowing that Davies is an outstanding professional. Having come through the ranks, spending time on loan at the likes of Southport and York City, he’s worked his way up the hard way.
Ben his bided his time and has acted with utter class throughout. He has never been in the news for the wrong reasons, keeps himself to himself, but is a well respected member of the dressing room and has captained the Club on a few occasions.
His professionalism has been exemplified this season – with his contract running down and his future up in the air, his performance levels have only gone up and up. He has been North End’s best player this season and he has led by example.
We’ve seen some stuff on Twitter about him being slow – is this the case – and therefore could he play in Liverpool’s high line?
I’m guessing those comments have come from analytics accounts who have rarely, if ever, seen him play. Don’t get me wrong, he wouldn’t beat Usain Bolt in a 100m sprint, but he’s certainly quick and I think his mobility is actually a big reason for Klopp signing him – he’s comfortable playing high and he’s rarely been beaten for pace at Championship level. Obviously, the Premier League is a different kettle of fish, but he’s not slow, no.
What are your hopes for Sepp van den Berg, who it seems is joining Preston on loan?
I’ve seen mixed reports on van den Berg, and I’ve only seen him once myself, so it’s hard to comment. He appears to be lacking in physicality but sounds technically good, so maybe he is seen as a Ben Davies replacement. It’s always a risk signing a player with no Championship experience however if he plays alongside a dominant partner, he might be ok.