Sheffield United loanee Ben Davies has admitted to feeling “mentally released” after six months at Liverpool, but has spoken of his pride at representing the club.
Davies failed to make his competitive debut for the Reds following his £1.6 million move from Preston in February, despite all three first-choice centre-backs being injured.
Now on loan with Sheffield United for the rest of the season, Davies has explained the importance of playing regular football when it comes to his mental health.
“I was becoming aware that I was the fifth or sixth choice to play in the centre of the defence for Liverpool,” he told the Mirror.
“When I joined Sheffield United, with the promise of playing games, it felt like I had finally been mentally released.”
The Englishman has already made two appearances for the Blades, and though they have both failed to produce wins, it will be a boost for Davies to have clocked 90 minutes in each outing.
His season at Bramall Lane could result in a permanent move at the end of the season – either to stay at Sheffield United or perhaps elsewhere – though that is certainly not resolved yet.
There is still a chance he is given an opportunity to impress at Liverpool next summer, though if not, Davies still takes pride from his time at Anfield.
Davies spoke of how training with the world-class players in Jurgen Klopp‘s squad have seen him “grow up” and helped him adjust to the demands of life at Sheffield United.
“No one can take away the fact that I’m a Liverpool player,” he continued.
“I feel that just being around top players has improved me. I feel I’ve grown up. It’s helped me settle in quickly at Sheffield United and hopefully that has shown in the games I’ve played.
“Playing football regularly is the most important thing and that was behind me coming to Sheffield United on loan.
“For me it’s about enjoying the competitive side of the game again.”
Davies is a strange case in the history of Liverpool signings, but his words highlight the value of representing the Reds regardless of how often a player makes it onto the pitch.