While much has been made about Manchester United’s need for a top-class central midfielder this summer, the under-fire David Moyes will also need to resolve the club’s left-back dilemma.
Patrice Evra has been a wonderful servant for the Red Devils since arriving at Old Trafford in 2006, but the France international is almost certain to leave the club at the end of the season, when his current contract expires.
Moyes first attempted to recruit a replacement last summer; however, his pursuit of Everton star Leighton Baines and then Real Madrid left-back Fabio Coentrao both ended in disappointment.
Several months later, in January, it was reported that Moyes had made a significant offer for the services of Southampton’s Luke Shaw, who is widely-regarded as one of the best young players in the Premier League and a dead-cert to replace Ashley Cole in the England setup in the near future.
That, too, proved unsuccessful. United were told in no uncertain terms that the £30m-rated Shaw was not for sale, while reports emerged claiming that the player favours a move to the club he has always supported: Chelsea, who desperately want the player.
United, it seems, have virtually no chance of signing the Chelsea-bound Shaw - but there is another Premier League left-back who could be available this summer.
This player would be considerably cheaper than Shaw, but is arguably just as promising. He has already played over 50 Premier League matches and won nine caps for his country.
But who is this mystery man, I hear you cry.
The player in question is Swansea City left-back Ben Davies, who appears to possess every attribute required to become a world-class left-back.
But, for some bizarre reason, there’s been such little speculation linking him with a move away from the Liberty Stadium.
Swansea City supporters will tell you that Davies, who doesn’t turn 21 until April, is every inch as talented as Shaw. They will have also breathed a huge sigh of relief when the January transfer window closed in January - although they might not be so lucky in the summer.
The Wales international has been an ultra-consistent performer for the Swans since making his first-team debut in 2012, when Davies replaced the injured Neil Taylor against West Ham in the early stages of the 2012/13 campaign.
Taylor was regarded as one of the Premier League’s most promising left-backs at that point, but since then Davies has made the left-back position at the Liberty Stadium his own.
He possesses a cool head on young shoulders; he’s defensively solid and will bomb up and down the left touchline for 90 minutes every match.
Why Manchester United and other clubs haven’t already pounced for the gifted youngster is baffling, but it surely won’t be much longer before the Premier League’s big guns approach Swansea for the future star.