In what seemed like a long pursuit, Ben Davies finally became a Sheffield United player in August after completing a season-long loan move from Liverpool.
The Blades had been after the centre-back when Chris Wilder was manager and Davies was at Preston North End before he made his shock move to Anfield in February.
But with Davies way down the pecking order at the former Premier League champions, the decision was made to send him to Bramall Lane for the 2021-22 campaign.
Let’s take a look at how Davies is doing so far at United and what’s next for the left-sided defender.
How’s it gone so far?
Davies has played just twice for the Blades so far since signing, having spent the first match he was available for against West Bromwich Albion on the bench.
His debut was a losing one against Huddersfield Town, and Davies was guilty of being outmuscled in the final moments of the game which allowed Levi Colwill to tap in the Terriers’ winning goal.
Davies’ away debut was much better though as United picked up a point in a goalless draw against Luton Town before the international break began.
According to Sofascore, Davies is averaging 1.5 interceptions per game and 3 tackles per game, winning 100% of his ground duels and when it comes to passing, which is a big strength of the defender, he has been accurate with 93% of them so far.
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What issues does he face?
United are clearly not in the best of form right now although a clean sheet against the Hatters was somewhat of a step in the right direction.
The only real issue for Davies may be if Slavisa Jokanovic decides to move forward with a 4-3-3 formation – in the last few games it’s been a 3-5-2 that Davies has featured in on the left-hand side of a back three but history tells us that the Serb favours four at the back.
One of three talented defenders in Davies, John Egan and Chris Basham would then have to miss out but you wouldn’t have imagined that it would be the Liverpool man considering he brings a bit more balance to the table.
Davies was solid against Luton but now he has to build on that to keep his place in Jokanovic’s plans.
No-one is guaranteed a place in the starting line-up due to how bad the results are but the Blades do probably lack a bit of depth in Davies’ position, so he will feel pretty safe.
His goal now is to help keep the ball away from Robin Olsen’s goalmouth and to help push the club up the table and into the Championship promotion race, but it’s going to take a lot of hard work judging from the early season performances.