As if losing Callum Robinson wasn’t bad enough, another Preston star is now being linked away.
We all knew that Ben Davies couldn’t stay under the radar forever. Really, he’s been the big success story of the Alex Neil era at Deepdale.
Yes, Jordan Hugill, Greg Cunningham and Robinson all got their Premier League moves under Neil. However, Davies has become a star from nowhere, developing rapidly under the Scot’s tutelage.
Previously miscast as a left back, Davies returned from a loan at Fleetwood Town in 2017 a different player. Davies has made himself virtually undroppable at centre back, with his ability to play out from the back a major factor.
Davies has a great left foot, and whilst he isn’t the biggest or strongest defender ever, his reading of the game and turn of pace are very impressive. Sadly, that means Premier League clubs are bound to come calling.
That now appears to be the case. The Sun’s Alan Nixon reports that Newcastle United are interested in signing Davies, with the 23-year-old on Steve Bruce’s wish list.
Bruce – just appointed Magpies boss – is allegedly a huge fan of Davies, and wants him at St James’ Park. There’s no word on a fee, but North End are in a decent place to demand big cash.
Davies has two years left on his deal, and a huge future ahead of him. Chris Mepham left Brentford for Bournemouth in January, and we wrote back then that Preston must demand a similar fee. That was a total of £15million. Bristol City are demanding £30million for Adam Webster, according to the Bristol Post.
If Davies was to go, he would surely have to be a new club-record sale. It’s hard to find quality left-footed centre backs, yet Davies is exactly that, and would be perfect for a team playing out from the back.
Whether that would happen under Bruce is another matter though. Additionally, Newcastle already have Jamaal Lascelles, Fabian Schar, Florian Lejeune and Federico Fernandez. Whether another centre back should be a priority is up for debate.
Sadly, it just means Preston fans will worry about another key player going. After Robinson’s exit, North End can’t afford to lose Davies too – at least not for seven figures.