Burnley have joined two Championship rivals in the race to sign Liverpool defensive misfit Ben Davies, according to a report.
Ben Davies joined Liverpool in February 2021, when they were suffering from a shortage of defenders. At the time, Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip were all on the sidelines. But rather than take any of their places, Davies soon joined them on the treatment tables.
The Preston North End academy product never played for Liverpool before joining Sheffield United on loan for the 2021-22 season. In total, he made 23 appearances for the South Yorkshire side.
Now, his future is in Liverpool’s hands again. They have left him out of their pre-season squad so he can focus on finding a new club. After all, they no longer need him due to Van Dijk, Gomez and Matip all returning to fitness last season and being joined by new arrival Ibrahima Konate.
There have been a few exit links for Davies, who looks most likely to drop back into the EFL. For example, he was recently suggested as a target for Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City.
According to The Sun, there is truth behind both links. Another contender, though, could be Burnley.
Vincent Kompany is overseeing a huge rebuild at Turf Moor after Burnley’s relegation from the Premier League. Their dependable starting centre-back pairing of James Tarkowski and Ben Mee has broken up.
Tarkowski has joined Everton on a free transfer, while Mee remains without a club. Another centre-half at Sean Dyche’s disposal last season, Nathan Collins, has been sold to Wolves.
New manager Kompany has responded by using his Manchester City connections to bring in Taylor Harwood-Bellis and CJ Egan-Riley. But more may be required to ensure their backline remains as strong as it was during the Premier League era.
They could now turn to 26-year-old Davies to give them more experience. Liverpool are likely to sanction a permanent exit despite his deal running until 2025.
Burnley would benefit from Ben Davies transfer
Interestingly, all four of Burnley’s current centre-backs – Harwood-Bellis, Egan-Riley, Kevin Long and Luke McNally – favour their right foot. Davies, in contrast, is a left-footer, so could bring them balance.
They will have to fend off a range of competition to get their man. As well as the three Championship contenders, Scottish side Rangers are showing an interest, say The Sun.
Rangers are selling Calvin Bassey, their own left-footed defender, and therefore may need more options at the back.
It would be a good move for Davies – to the Champions League rather than the Championship. But after a previous big move did not work out, perhaps sticking in the EFL may be wisest.
Burnley would be a good option, given their recent Premier League past. It is tough to predict how their new era will start this season, but if Kompany can drive their ambition, it may be a good project to be a part of.
That said, looking at all the players to have left them recently may prompt concern. It will be up to Davies to decide what will be best for his career, as long as the deal suits Liverpool too.
He would leave with a hint of regret at never being able to play competitively after a dream move he could not have expected. But the time is right to find a new permanent home ahead of what could be his peak years.