Sheffield United signing this 25-year-old Preston star would be a great defensive boost for Wilder

Ben Davies is a product of the Preston North End academy
Ben Davies is a product of the Preston North End academy (Getty Images)

Why Sheffield United should eye cut-price Ben Davies swoop in January

According to Lancashire Live (h/t Examiner Live), Sheffield United are weighing up a move for Preston North End centre-back Ben Davies ahead of the January transfer window. 

Blades boss Chris Wilder is keen to add a centre-back to his ranks in January following a knee injury to Jack O’Connell. Preston could well be tempted to cash in on the 25-year-old in January, with his contract set to expire next summer.

Sheffield United, though, are expected to face stiff competition for Celtic in their pursuit of Davies. The Hoops had been linked with the Preston graduate in the summer and continue to be on the lookout for defensive reinforcements. (Lancashire Live h/t Examiner Live)

Profile

A youth exponent of Preston, Ben Davies made his senior debut for the Lilywhites in League One during the 2012-13 season. He went through loan spells at York City, Tranmere Rovers, Newport County, Southport and Fleetwood Town before establishing himself as a regular starter at Deepdale in 2017-18.

Preston defender Ben Davies in action. (Getty Images)
Preston defender Ben Davies in action. (Getty Images)

Davies has blossomed into one of the mainstays of Preston’s backline in the Championship, earning rave reviews for his impressive development over the past three seasons. The 25-year-old has featured 133 times for the Lilywhites in all competitions so far, scoring twice and registering three assists in the process.

Davies would provide the Blades with more cover at the back

Sheffield United have endured a dismal start to the 2020-21 campaign. The Blades presently sit rock bottom of the standings, having accumulated just a solitary point from 11 games so far. In fact, they are the only side in the top-flight yet to register a single win this season, which pretty much sums up Chris Wilder’s woes.

The Yorkshire outfit have scored just 5 goals while conceding as many as 18 in the process. That clearly epitomises Sheffield United’s struggles at both ends of the pitch, giving Wilder plenty of food for thought with less than four weeks remaining before the market reopens in January.

Jack O’Connell’s injury early in the campaign has undoubtedly been a major set-back for the Blades. Wilder has tried out Enda Stevens, Ethan Ampadu and Jack Robinson as the left-sided centre-back in his central defensive triumvirate, but O’Connell’s absence has continued to be a huge talking point at Bramall Lane. 

Ben Davies in action against Birmingham City (Getty Images)
Ben Davies in action against Birmingham City (Getty Images)

Putting things into context, Sheffield United need to find a solution to O’Connell’s injury and a cut-price deal for Preston star Ben Davies in January would surely go a long way towards restoring the balance in Wilder’s ranks.

The 25-year-old has been among the best-performing centre-backs in the Championship over the past few years. He looks more than ready to make the step up to the top-flight after making significant improvements to his game.

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Verdict

It is a no-brainer that the inclusion of a reliable operator like Ben Davies in January would offer Sheffield United with some valuable cover at the back. His left-footed nature as a centre-back makes him a like-for-like replacement for O’Connell, thus potentially handing a massive boost to Wilder’s dynamics.

With his best years still ahead of him at 25, the Blades could land themselves a huge bargain if they manage to pull off a deal for Davies at a knockdown price.

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game.

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