Why Derby County must sign Preston North End defender Ben Davies
Derby County are monitoring Preston North End defender Ben Davies as Frank Lampard is looking to add a young centre-back to his squad, reports Derbyshire Telegraph.
Davies, 23, has been one of Preston’s standout performers in the past two campaigns. A graduate of the Preston academy, Davies made his first-team debut for the Lilywhites in a League One fixture at the age of 17. Since then, he has gone on to make 56 appearances for the Lilywhites with 34 of them coming in the Championship last season.
The 23-year-old has also enjoyed loan spells away at York City, Tranmere Rovers, Southport FC, Newport County and Fleetwood Town, which has helped him gain valuable experience and grow as a player.
The versatile defender, who can operate at either centre-half or at left-back, has put in a string of impressive performances for Preston North End this season despite the club’s dismal start to the campaign which includes only one win in opening 10 league games.
The Lilywhites are currently at the bottom of the Championship with just one win and five points but Davies has arguably been Preston’s best performer so far and has featured in all but one of the club’s 10 Championship matches. The 23-year-old also captained Alex Neil’s side to a 2-0 victory over Leeds United in the second round of the Carabao Cup.
Speaking about Derby, they are pushing themselves up for promotion as they sit 9th on the table. The Rams have enjoyed a good start under Lampard and their biggest achievement so far this season is their win over Manchester United to dump them out of the Carabao Cup, at Old Trafford.
Confidence is sky high in the team at the moment and Lampard will aim to build on it. However, bringing in a new centre-back in January would be a good move by the Rams.
Derby have Richard Keogh, Curtis Davies and Alex Pearce as options in central defence, while Fikayo Tomori is at Pride Park on a season-long loan deal from Chelsea. However, Curtis Davies and Richard Keogh have entered the 30’s and have slowed down considerably, which raises the need to pump some young blood into the central defence.
This is where signing Davies from Preston could prove to be so resourceful for the Pride Park outfit. Signing him would continue Lampard’s plan of lowering the average age of the playing squad at Derby, and would also strengthen the backline.
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As Davies has signed a contract at Deepdale until 2021, Derby may have to stump up solid cash for the defender if they decide to move for him in January. Regardless of how much Derby spend, Davies would be a shrewd signing for Lampard.