Liverpool have signed Ben Davies – not that one – from Preston North End as they seek to end their centre-back troubles this season.
Somehow, the Reds are still challenging for the title despite losing Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez to long-term injuries, while backup Joel Matip has also had his issues.
Even fill-in star Fabinho, normally a defensive midfielder, has taken a few knocks and missed matches, leading to Jordan Henderson being used in the role, and performing admirably.
Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips have also had a go too, but now, with the title still within their grasp they have opted to make a move for a defender in the transfer market, which should help strengthen their midfield as well as their backline.
He might even be the best Ben Davies in the Premier League too with Tottenham’s Welsh left-back looking lost against Brighton.
But just who is the Anfield-bound ace? talkSPORT.com take a look…
Ben Davies – 2020/21
Championship appearances – 19
Starts – 19
Tackles per game – 1.2
Interceptions per game – 1.4
Clearances per game – 4.3
Aerials won per game – 3.1
Pass success – 79 per cent
What’s the deal?
With the deadline fast approaching and many defenders reportedly considered, including Schalke man Ozan Kabak, Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi, ex-Gunners ace Sokratis, and Marseille star Duje Caleta-Car, Davies was chosen as the man to move to Anfield and help them retain their title.
He’s joining in a £1.6million deal, with Sepp van den Berg going the other way in a loan move until the end of the season with the possibility of extending it next season.
Davies was all set to join Celtic at the end of his current deal, which runs out in the summer, but Liverpool nipped in ahead of them, and Bournemouth, who were willing to pay more, to conclude transfer.
Club career so far?
After making his debut for Preston as a 17-year-old back in, fresh from their own academy, he went out on loan in four seasons with five different clubs as he looked to progress.
The 2017/18 campaign saw him break into the first-team and he’s been a regular ever since at Deepdale.
According to The Athletic, his performances with Preston have had him on Liverpool’s radar ever since that campaign, while Man City took a liking to him after he featured against them in the Carabao Cup last term.
He’s been versatile throughout his career too and is able to play as a centre-back, on the left of a back-three, and as either a left-back or a left wing-back.
What is being said about him?
Peter Risdale, now advisor to the owner at Preston joined talkSPORT to give his view on Davies.
“He’s an outstanding young man, he’s down to earth, very professional. At our level he’s looked like a Rolls Royce,” he told White and Jordan.
“When he was in the academy I used to go and watch him play and he stood out and was by far the best player there. He then went out on loan to York and Newport County, Fleetwood, and so he had got a lot of games under his belt at adult football before he was playing for us.
“He deserves this chances, he’s a very good player.”
Ex-Liverpoool and Preston forward Neil Mellor also praised Davies in an interview with The Athletic:“He’s left-footed, so he offers good balance. He’s very good at sensing danger and dealing with it. I see too many defenders these days who aren’t aware and don’t sense danger quickly enough.
“He’s not got blistering pace but he’s quick enough. He’s calm and composed on the ball. Liverpool usually dominate possession and he’s very comfortable bringing it out. He’s good in the air and not afraid of getting hurt.
“I’ve been surprised a top club didn’t take a chance on him before now. He’s been very loyal to Preston. He deserves this opportunity.
“For less than £2 million, he’s an absolute steal. Liverpool would be able to sell him for five times that amount. He’s a £10 million defender.
“I’m confident that he can grasp this amazing opportunity. My only concern is whether he really believes he belongs in the Premier League. He’s a quiet, shy lad. I know he’s good enough but I don’t know if he believes himself just what a good player he is.”