A confident left-back whose pace scares opponents - the inside track on Portsmouth target Leif Davis from Leeds

Pompey have left-back Leif Davis on their radar.

Tuesday, 18th August 2020, 5:30 pm

The Leeds youngster has been identified as a summer target as the Blues aim to bolster their options on the left-hand side of defence.

Lee Brown remains the only senior left-back at Fratton Park, with Kenny Jackett admitting it’s an area of his squad he wants to strengthen.

Davis is also being chased by Stoke, with Leeds considering allowing the 20-year-old out on loan as they prepare for life back in the Premier League.

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The former Morecambe ace featured five times in total as Marco Bielsa’s troops captured the Championship crown last season.

We spoke to the Joe Urquhart from the Yorkshire Evening Post to get the inside track on what the Fratton faithful could expect should Davis complete a switch to Pompey...

First of all, it's been quite a meteoric rise for Leif Davis since joining from Morecambe?

It has. He arrived in 2018 and we didn't know too much about him.

Leif Davis. Picture Bruce Rollinson

But in the first six months playing for the under-23s, he was quite clearly a cut above what they already had in the academy.

The following season, he helped Leeds win the Professional Development League, which is for Category Two academies.

He's naturally a left-back but has trained with the first team quite consistently.

Marco Bielsa requires players to be able to operate in two positions, so he came as a natural left-back but can play as a left-sided centre-half as well.

He's not the tallest but is a ball-playing centre-half and quite good in the air.

Going somewhere like Pompey and playing League One football regularly would be good for him because he's at the stage where he needs to do that.

Where you surprised by how far ahead of some players he was given he didn't play for Morecambe's first team?

I guess so because you didn't know what to expect.

As an 18-year-old to play consistently for the under-23s was quite impressive.

He's really confident in himself. He's a confident lad but without being cocky and that showed when he made his debut against Aston Villa in December 2018.

He was told five minutes before they kick-off at Villa Park that he was starting because Barry Douglas had got injured in the warm-up.

Davis was as solid as you can be for a 19-year-old in front of 40,000 people.

As Leeds have bought a crop of youngsters from the lower leagues, he's been consistently as good as any of them.

Now does he need to get out and play regular senior football?

He does, definitely. It's a bit of a shame as Leeds fans wanted to see him play more in the first team, but the players ahead of him is why he hasn't broken through.

Davis has been part of the first-team squad and if Leeds were struggling in the Championship then maybe he'd have been given a chance.

Leeds have been playing so consistently well over a long period so he hasn't been able to break through.

He wanted to go out on loan last year but Bielsa wouldn't allow him as he likes youngsters to train with the first team and get used to the way Leeds play.

You can tell Davis is ready for regular action, though.

Would there be a hesitancy to send him to League One level rather than the Championship?

He just needs to play so wherever he goes, he needs to be given a fair crack.

Davis isn't the sort of lad who'll shy away just because he has to compete and win his starting spot.

Leeds wouldn't be too much like that either. They don't believe loan players have a divine right to play and have to earn their place.

Just because they're arriving from a Premier League club, they can't demand starts.

But the level of football wouldn't be too much of a worry

Would you say his pace is his main attribute?

His pace scares the living daylight out of players and pins wingers back.

Although you should think it'd be the other way round, teams have to double up on him.

It would be a real asset at League One level. He's so pacy and would scare a lot of defences.

However, it feels a bit unfair to say that he's just quick. He's good in the air, battles well and doesn't shy away from the physical side of things.

His delivery into the box is also pretty much bang-on the money

Davis can play centre-half as a ball-playing defender but the one thing you'd say that his height isn't quite there.

He's a really good attacking full-back. He's not been fully tested defensively yet, though, and would be interesting to see how he goes in that department.