Ben Davies says he felt a “mental release” after joining Sheffield United on loan from Liverpool last month.
The centre-back was a surprise arrival at Anfield in January with Jurgen Klopp hunting for defensive cover.
The Reds had lost Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez through injury and were desperate for signings. Jurgen Klopp made a double dip into the transfer market on February 1 with Dabies and Ozan Kabak arriving.
Davies, 26, signed a “long-term” deal at Anfield for an initial fee of £500,000, plus structured add-ons which could rise to £1.6m. But he has yet to feature for the first team. In fact he only made the bench four times in the Premier League, with Kabak given the chance to partner Nat Phillips.
So it was no surprise when a loan deal for the former Preston man was mooted. And when Sheffield United came knocking Davies was keen to get a loan deal over the line.
“I was becoming aware that I was the fifth or sixth choice to play in the centre of the defence for Liverpool,” Davies told the Daily Mirror.
“When I joined Sheffield United, with the promise of playing games, it felt like I had finally been mentally released.”
Davies though holds no resentment over his situation and believes playing with top-class players has improved him.
“No one can take away the fact that I’m a Liverpool player,” Davies said.
‘Matchday buzz’ for Davies
“I feel that just being around top players has improved me. I feel I’ve grown up. It’s helped me settle in quickly at Sheffield United and hopefully that has shown in the games I’ve played.
“Playing football regularly is the most important thing and that was behind me coming to Sheffield United on loan. For me it’s about enjoying the competitive side of the game again.”
Davies. who has featured twice for the Blades, added: “I’m really happy to be here. I always liked playing against Sheffield United and the atmosphere.
“Hopefully I can fit into the manager’s plans well. I’ve missed match days and the buzz of having fans in grounds.
“That’s part of the excitement of coming here and hopefully having a successful year.”