Liverpool legend Mark Lawrenson has responded to the seemingly imminent transfer deal for Preston North End defender Ben Davies.
The 25-year-old has been in talks over a surprise move to Anfield, according to BBC Sport, and they also quote ex-Red Lawrenson as admitting he’s a bit surprised that this move has come about.
Davies has been solid enough in the Championship, but it’s a big step up for him to move to the reigning Premier League champions.
Liverpool are clearly desperate for cover in the centre-back department after such bad luck with injuries this season, and Davies could be a useful short-term option.
Virgil van Dijk is likely to miss most of the season, while Joel Matip and Joe Gomez have both had their niggling fitness issues that have seen them go in and out of the side this term.
Lawrenson admits it’s a big opportunity for Davies, and one he should enjoy, but it might not exactly fill Liverpool fans with too much confidence in the player.
“Ben Davies has done well at Preston and has let his contract run down so he was going to move on in the summer. If he’d gone to Celtic, which I’d heard had been agreed, then I was thinking he could do well there, but being honest I didn’t really see him as being good enough to be on Liverpool’s radar,” Lawrenson told BBC Sport.
“He’s a real steady Eddie. He’s left-footed and quick enough but he’s not got phenomenal pace or anything like that. He’s been good in the Championship, very good.
“But I’ve watched him and thought, up against the extra nous and quality you get in the Premier League, on top of extra pace, it will be a test for him. You wouldn’t want to just throw him in to face Manchester City next Sunday, put it that way.
“This is obviously a great move for him, I just can’t see him getting near the first team. Nat Phillips has done well when he’s come in and he is probably a better player.
“So, Davies would be behind him and also Rhys Williams, so even before Joel Matip comes back and the other two long-term injured players – Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez – he is going to be below them on the list. And Fabinho and Jordan Henderson too.
“I am not sure he will play very much at Liverpool, but the experience alone should be fabulous. I hope he experiences playing in the first team, but even if he is just sitting on the bench then it is still great for him.
“He has come through the ranks at Preston, learned his trade with loan spells in the lower divisions and improved a lot. He has done really well.”