I think most North End fans were expecting a busy day today, but it might yet turn out to be a very busy day. We’ve already been linked with Liam Lindsay, a left-footed centre back on loan from Stoke City.
In terms of outgoings, the big one, and probably the last one barring the confirmation of Josh Earl’s loan move, is Ben Davies joining the Premier League Champions. According to the Liverpool Echo, North End will receive an up front payment of £500,000 for the 25-year-old.
By all accounts, Ben was ready to have his medical with Celtic before he learned about Liverpool’s interest. Again, according to the Echo, Liverpool’s sporting director Michael Edwards made contact with North End on Thursday and talks have, quite clearly, accelerated since then and Ben is set to complete a deadline day move to Anfield.
If you’re looking for more information about Ben, his style of play, his strengths, give this piece a read. Apparently, as well as Celtic, Bournemouth were lurking with a possible double swoop on the cards and Burnley were also in touch last week but, unsurprisingly, we wouldn’t sell to a local rival.
Despite what has been said about Ben elsewhere online, he is no slouch. He’s got pace and it’s reported that Liverpool “believe his pace and calmness in possession will afford the Reds the opportunity to push up and squeeze the pitch in the manner they do when Joe Gomez and Virgil Van Dijk are in the side.”
In terms of what else North End get out of this, as I said, there’s an initial £500,000 fee with an additional £1.1m in add-ons, including an England international cap clause. We also have a 20% sell-on clause.
Apparently, the majority of the add-ons are dependent on the number of appearances Ben makes for Liverpool which, at the moment, you would think he’ll make a fair few seeing as they have no fit senior centre backs. Joel Matip and Fabinho are out with injuries as well as the long-term injuries sustained by both Virgil Van Dijk and England centre-back, Joe Gomez.
As part of the deal, it looks as though we’ll be getting Sepp van den Berg on loan for the rest of the season and should the youngster start a certain percentage of Championship games, we’ve got first refusal for a loan again next season.
This is an absolutely incredible move for Ben and I wish him all the best with it. I hope he takes his chance, grabs the bull by the horns so to speak, and makes a name for himself at the current Champions of England.
Go well, Ben.
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