Leighton James column: Ben Davies could become world class
BEN Davies has the potential to become one of the best left-backs in the Premier League — and maybe even world football.
I don't want to get ahead of myself or put too much pressure on the boy by making such a bold statement.
Clearly Ben still has a long way to go before he can be considered world class.
But I can definitely see the potential for greatness.
I have already praised Ben many times in this column, a feat in itself considering he is only just beginning his career as a professional.
The way he jumped from youth team to the Premier League was hugely impressive.
And the youngster seems to be getting even better.
Ben took his goal at West Brom last Sunday like a seasoned striker, calmly side-footing a volley into the top corner.
That was a sensational strike that set Swansea on their way to an important win.
When Ashley Cole hangs up his boots, I think Ben will be a leading contender to take over his mantle as best left-back in the league.
He has it all, defensive strength, technical ability and even an eye for goal.
I believe he might even go on to play at centre-back later in his career.
That versatility is a real asset.
The fact Ben wasn't even nominated as PFA young player of the year last season absolutely baffles me.
I'm not saying he should have won the award, but a place on the shortlist is the very least he deserved.
If he isn't in the running next time it will be an absolute crime.
Another player who impressed me at the Hawthorns last weekend was Pablo Hernandez.
I know some people have their doubts about the Spaniard, but I can see his quality.
The reason Pablo can frustrate by giving the ball away is because he tries things that others don't.
He can see the pass many overlook, and when you take risks sometimes they don't come off.
But let me tell you, I know a thing or two about wingers and Pablo is a class act.
He will be a real asset if he can get some consistency this season.