How the signing of Ben Davies is a win-win situation for Liverpool
“Tottenham’s Ben Davies?!” laughed Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp when asked by Sky Sports about a potential move following his side’s impressive 3-1 win over West Ham. Of course, the Spurs left-back was not the man in question. Instead, it was Preston North End’s centre-back of the same name.
Despite the long-term injuries to Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk, the Reds insisted throughout the course of January that they did not need to bring in a new centre-back. However, when Joël Matip was side-lined again following an ankle injury picked up in the 3-1 win over Spurs last week, and Fabinho also carrying a knock, albeit much less of a concern, the defending Premier League champions moved quickly to secure a central defender.
Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi and Wolverhampton Wanderer’s Romain Saïss were linked with a move to Anfield. However, the Reds moved for Preston’s Davies, along with Schalke’s Ozan Kabak, instead.
The 25-year-old had already agreed a pre-contract with Scottish side Celtic but was yet to put pen-to-paper on a move north of the border before Liverpool swooped in for his signature. A bid of around £2million was accepted by the English Championship club and Davies completed his medical and the move on transfer Deadline Day (February 1st).
At first the move seemed bizarre. The Premier League champions signing a centre-back from a mid-table Championship side. However, it makes sense. For Liverpool, it is a cheap alternative to the aforementioned defenders, after all he will more than likely be cover anyway, whilst for Preston, it’s an additional £2m when the player was due to leave for Celtic for free.
That is why the move is a win-win for both parties, but Liverpool especially. After briefly recovering from a dip in form, the Reds are starting to struggle again and they’re dropping rapidly in the Premier League outright odds. So, extra cover at the back could be the key to finding form again in the latter half of the season.
Rhys Williams’ performances for Liverpool this season haven’t been up to scratch, and his recent outing in the FA Cup defeat to Manchester United, where he was at fault in the 3-2 loss, was further evidence that the 19-year-old might not yet be at the level to step up and perform for the side when needed.
Of course, the chances are that Davies isn’t going to rock up at Anfield and waltz his way into Klopp’s starting XI, especially with fixtures against the likes of Leicester City, Everton and RB Leipzig coming up over the next few weeks.
Instead, with Matip now out for the remainder of the season, the Reds boss will probably look to Kabak to step up and the 20-year-old will certainly be tested in the aforementioned upcoming fixtures.
With injuries causing a regular headache for Klopp, cover is what Liverpool need and that is what they are getting, and for relatively cheap. The fact that Liverpool will pay just half a million upfront for the 25-year-old is a great bit of business. It is certainly a win-win for Liverpool.