Ben Davies, who transferred to Liverpool amidst the great center-back crisis of 2020/21, never played a competitive minute for the Reds — though the lack of playing time should not detract from the romance of the move at the time.
Davies did feature during Liverpool’s pre-season matches ahead of the 2021/22 season, most recently as a late substitute against CAS Osasuna.
It has now been officially reported that he will spend the 2021/22 season on loan to Sheffield United in the Championship as the Blades hope to return to the top flight after their relegation last season.
Davies has reportedly been a long-term target of United, whose interest is said to have stretched back to the defender’s time at Deepdale.
For his part, Davies has expressed excitement about the move, as he wants playing time.
I’ve always liked the club playing against them. I saw they had 29,000 fans on the opening day of the season, which was a pull, and I like the manager and how he plays football.
There are some great players here and we have a great chance of bouncing straight back up. The manager plays good football and has got a good record in the Championship. So I think it’s a good fit, and hopefully I fit in quite well with his plans and the club.
His experience in Sheffield thus far has been good, if not fully smooth:
I’m really happy to be here, I got some exciting feelings coming in. It’s a long drive from Preston over some A-roads and I got lost a few times. But I’ve met most of the players and most of the staff already and everyone’s been friendly, so it’s been good so far.
Davies is expected to be in the Blades’ starting lineup for their next match on Wednesday, as United face West Bromwich Albion.
Certainly no Reds fans can begrudge a move that will afford the defender more playing time than he was likely to see on Merseyside, and Davies himself clarifies that this was a major element in his decision.
I just missed matchdays really and the buzz, especially having fans in this year. It’ll have been a long time since I played a proper matchday in front of fans so it’s part of the excitement of coming here and hopefully having a successful year.
Going to Liverpool is a move you could never turn down. It was really exciting and the whole set up there is incredible.
The club is like you wouldn’t believe until you get in there and see it for yourself.
I’ve had a good six months or so but playing football is the most important thing. That’s what’s driven me to come out on loan and hopefully play some games and get back to enjoying that competitive side again.
Sheffield United have not had a great start to their campaign, with a draw and a loss in their first two games, and United will hope Davies’ experience in training with Liverpool, if not on the pitch, can help them return to the winning ways that brought them up to the Premier League in the first place.