Hailed at the time as an improbable rags-to-riches story, Ben Davies’ January move from Preston to Liverpool during the great centre-back blight of 2021 was never likely to end with the defender finding long-term success at Anfield.
As it turned out, the form of Nat Phillips and Rhys Davies during the Reds’ unbeaten ten-game run to end the year saw Davies miss out on playing time entirely during the 2020-21 season. However, the former Preston man has no regrets.
“I have no regrets about going to Liverpool,” he said. “It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and if it would come around again I would take it every time.
“At the time you don’t know what way it’ll go. I’m hoping I can hit the ground running this season and get back into my stride nice and quickly then I’ll only have missed a few months of football.”
With Ibrahima Konaté brought in and Virgil van Dijk, Joël Matip and Joe Gomez back from injury, the 26-year old’s chances of making a matchday squad diminished even further, and two days ago, Davies signed a season-long loan deal with newly relegated Championship side Sheffield United.
“When I initially went in, I thought I would be in the mix to play,” the defender continued. “Obviously that’s different this season with world class players back but initially I thought I had a chance of playing.
“It didn’t quite go how I wanted but it’s not like it was a six-month deal, it’s three-and-a-half years, so there is still time – but this is the time to play games. I feel I have more chance of playing here at Sheffield United. I was fifth or sixth choice at Liverpool but here I can see a route to regular football.”
One can scarcely blame him; not many among us would turn down a chance to don the red kit on a matchday, however unlikely. One hopes that, even if he doesn’t become a regular fixture on Merseyside, Davies gets to experience stepping onto the Anfield pitch at one moment or another before his time at Liverpool comes to an end.