Liverpool, and by extension their transfer chief Michael Edwards, have been hailed as a ‘very savvy’ by a football agent after loaning Ben Davies to Sheffield United, The Athletic’s Simon Hughes writes.
Liverpool brought Davies to Anfield from Preston North End in January in the midst of an injury crisis. Three centre-backs – Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip had all been ruled out for the remainder of the campaign.
But the Englishman wouldn’t set foot on the pitch for the Reds, with Jurgen Klopp preferring Nathaniel Phillips, Rhys Williams and loanee Ozan Kabak. Davies was only included in the matchday squad on eight occasions.
He did at least feature for the Reds in pre-season, lining up alongside Joel Matip in a mini-game against Austrian outfit FC Wacker Innsbruck.
Having sealed his season-long loan move to Bramall Lane on Monday, he’ll look to help the Blades regain their place in the Premier League.
Hughes says Liverpool have been left ‘delighted’ with their business after securing a £500,000 loan fee from Sheffield United, recouping their initial outlay on Davies and winning external admiration. He adds that they’ll be entitled to a further £500,000 if Slavisa Jokanovic’s side win promotion.
What’s more, it’s understood that his temporary employers are covering the entirety of his wages, which lie somewhere between £25,000 and £40,000 per week.
Liverpool are confident that they’ll be able to turn a significant profit on Davies eventually. Indeed, they chose not to insert an obligation to buy into their loan agreement at this stage because they believe he can still increase his value.
In a way, you feel for Davies. Joining the club of Liverpool’s stature when they were so depleted, he might have sensed a career-defining opportunity. Instead, it looks as if he was brought in solely to make up the numbers, and he’s been viewed as more of a commodity than a viable squad option.
He may never made an official debut for the Reds, but a left-footed English centre-back in his mid-20s, who’s still on a long contract, should definitely fetch a healthy fee.
If he thrives on loan – and perhaps even leads the Blades to promotion – this could turn out to be one of Edwards’ savviest moves yet from a solely business perspective.
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