There is an age old belief within football circles that you cannot win anything with a side dependant on youngsters, yet me being the firm believer in youth development that I am, I cannot help but hope that the young stars of the future on display at the 2016 UEFA European Championships take this opportunity that fate has afforded them to make the world of football sit up and truly appreciate the magnificence that these wunderkinds have been created to grace us with. A plethora of talented players will be keen to showcase their talent in the 15th edition of the UEFA European Championship; we at GSV would like to hone our binoculars in on the u/23 players that will be looking to etch their mark on the global game, without further ado, we present to you the UEFA EURO 2016 Young Guns To Watch. Prendre plaisir!
Full Name: Benjamin Thomas Davies
DoB: April 24th, 1993 (23)
PoB: Neath, Wales
Position/s: Fullback, Wingback (Left)
Height: 1, 81m
Club: Tottenham Hotspur Football Club
Club Career Record: 141 Games, 3 Goals, 9 Assists
National Team Record: 21 Caps, 1 Assist
The Grand Stand View
The progression of Gareth Bale from overlapping fullback to free roaming forward may have gifted Wales with arguably their best attacking talent since Ryan Giggs; yet that growth had also deprived them an opportunity to have a buccaneering left fullback to give them some width and dimension going forward. Ben Davies has cemented his place as a fixture in the Wales defence, making the left back slot his own and showing that his nation haven’t lost out on not having Bale bombing down the wing from deep, and his versatility has also been key over the past year.
A very well balanced and mobile defender, Ben Davies relies on his great positional play to get into great positions to make timely interceptions and keep opposition attacking players at bay. Gifted in the art of making retrieval tackles and getting back up to play the ball swiftly, Davies is capable of turning defence into attack when played in a high-pressing game that allows him to use his pace and anticipation well. Wales have benefitted from playing him as the left-sided member of a 3-man central defensive unit that has built the foundation of their great success thus far, the able defender looks composed as more of a ball-playing defender and his versatility only boosts his value to the team.
The Dragons will be counting on Davies to bring his whole-hearted approach to every game, as they aim to achieve even more success on the back of solid defending. The versatility of a majority of the Wales players allows gaffer Chris Coleman to make adjustments in game and afford the team the flexibility they need to make the necessary alterations when required. A solid tournament for Davies will aid his growth as he seeks to establish himself as a genuine elite level talent who is one to watch for the future.