Liverpool benefit greatly if Ben Davies comes good. They’ll secretly hope he’s the one that works out.
Liverpool gave it their best shot at turning a bad situation into a good one by signing Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies. Joel Matip is out for the season, after all, so the Reds belatedly moved on deadline day.
They didn’t pay much, though. The BBC has it at £2m for Davies and £1.5m for Kabak.
One thing is clear, however – Kabak is the exciting one. He’s five years younger, experienced at the top level and has that £18m option to buy.
Davies, in contrast, is entering his prime having never played top-flight football before. He’s completely untested at this level.
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And yet, he can be transformative.
We imagine the plan right now is to get Kabak up to speed so he can partner Fabinho at the back. It’s a solid defence and the one we hope to see.
But it’s Davies who can transform Liverpool.
If he comes good and figures out Premier League football, it opens up the idea of Kabak / Davies partnership. That, in turn, moves Fabinho back into midfield.
It would also be the end of Jordan Henderson at the back. Suddenly, Liverpool have two natural centre-backs and, finally, their best midfield options actually in midfield.
Liverpool improve enormously, simply from Davies working out.
But it’s even more than that. Davies, unlike Kabak, is a permanent Liverpool player. That can influence the summer and reduce the pressure for signings.
After all, the need for a centre-back drops significantly if he’s a good fourth-choice option. Liverpool could comfortably go into next season with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Davies as options, knowing Fabinho is still there for another worst-case scenario.
Liverpool still want Dayot Upamecano, according to Bild. Well, they might not get him, given the competition. And if they don’t, there’s no need to divert to other lesser targets if they already have four reliable options.
It’s just a completely beneficial transfer. The pressure is firmly on Davies to succeed but if he does, Liverpool have pulled off a blinder.