Blackburn Rovers improved on their 15th place finish in the 2020-21 season by finishing 8th. At one point, they were challenging for the promotion playoff spots, but this ended towards the last few matchdays. For goalscoring, the Lancashire club relied on Chilean striker Ben Brereton Diaz as he notched up 22 strikes in the season. However, their defence conceded 50 goals and if they need to challenge for promotion once again, Rovers will need to strengthen their backline. One name that the club has registered interest in is Liverpool defender Ben Davies, who was on loan at Sheffield United last season.
Davies featured in 21 matches for Sheffield United in the EFL Championship last season, playing for 1,797 minutes. He scored one goal during his time on the field. He was a very reliable passer on the ball as he completed 88.45% of his passes out of 50+ attempts per 90. The Englishman was also taking risks in ball progression as he ranked in the top quintile for both attempted passes into the final third per 90, with 6.77, and pass accuracy into the final third, with a shade above 69%. He completed 6.46 long balls per 90, which was good enough for him to be ranked in the upper quartile among defenders.
Davies may have attempted only 10.17 defensive actions per 90, but he won nearly 88% of them. It is a similar story as far as defensive duels are concerned as he attempted only 5.41 per 90 but was successful on 31.45% of the occasions. The Englishman’s success rate in both defensive actions and defensive duels put him in the top 13% for both categories. He used his height of 185 cm to good effect, winning more than 58% of his aerial duels. He also won the same percentage of loose ball duels he contested. He made just under 13 recoveries per 90, which placed him in the upper quintile.
Davies was most active and involved when he was stationed on the left centre of the defence. He covered for the left-back whenever the latter made advancing and overlapping runs into the final third. He rarely ventured forward, opting to stay back most of the time.
Davies won a good mixture of ground-based defending duels, aerial duels and 50/50s. Unsurprisingly, most of his successful duels came in the defensive third. He won a combined 47 tackles & interceptions with an average of 2.24 per 90.
Ben Davies was in and out of the Sheffield United starting XI last season in the EFL Championship as he did not make the matchday squad on 15 occasions and was left on the bench for 11 games. Should Blackburn Rovers sign him, he will need to impress the coach Jon Dahl Tomasson to play regularly.