With five goals in the last seven games, I think it’s fair to say that Jordan Davies is in form.
He’s clearly a quality player – you don’t get cherry-picked from the National League by a Premier League team’s academy without having something in your locker! We’ve been seeing his quality all season, but it’s in the last month that he’s really started to hurt opposing sides, and there can be no doubt that he has benefitted from finding a settled place in the side.
The strange thing about his season is the way he has been deployed all over the pitch. His versatility has been a huge asset for us, but it has been quite strange to see a player with his quality used in such a diverse range of positions.
Generally, utility players tend to be adaptable, but not good enough to be able to hold down a regular position. Davies’ case is very different. It’s more that we simply can’t afford not to have him in the starting eleven, but his technical range means he can play in a number of disparate positions.
By my reckoning, Davies has played in eight positions so far this season. He started the season as a defensive midfielder at Solihull Moors, graduated further up the pitch to play as a central midfielder, had a productive spell at left wing back, filled in for 10 minutes at left back against Barnet, played at centre back against Dagenham when our injury crisis was at its peak, and has played as an attacking midfielder, both supporting the strikers and on the front edge of a box midfield.
Oh, and he played half a match up front with Dior Angus before Dean Keates was able to draft in a trio of strikers this month.
He played most of pre-season in a ninth position too, cutting in from the right hand side of midfield in a 4-4-2.
Since the end of January, when Jamie Reckord returned to his left wing back position and freed Davies to return to the centre of the pitch, we’ve seen him benefit from an extended run in the same position. He has been excellent driving forwards from midfield, threatening with both his sharp passing and his vicious long range shooting. His hat trick at was the obvious zenith of this run of form, with each goal showcasing a different technical quality.
The third strike is a strong contender for goal of the season, as he lashed a magnificent half volley in from the edge of the area, but his second was profoundly satisfying.
It begins when he makes an interception on the half way line, which releases him to run at the last defender, but look at it again. As a Halifax midfielder starts to drop off to offer himself for a pass, Davies sees him, anticipates the next pass, and accelerates over five yards to nick the ball.
He then deployed his pace to burst past the last man and run at the goalkeeper. This was where he really impressed with his cool head. Rather than thrash at the finish – and remember that before this match he’d only scored three goals in senior football – he committed the keeper and danced past him before finishing from a tight angle.
Did I say finish? I’m not doing him justice. He could have rolled it in, but instead he went for the aesthetic, dinking the ball elegantly home. The final flourish of an artist at work.
It’s very easy to forget that Davies is still only 22, and had only 30 senior games under his belt before this season, spread between the League of Wales and games in the Checkatrade Trophy for Brighton Under-23s.
He’s the sort of player who, at this point of the season, you fear will leave in the Summer for a higher level. After all, there’s absolutely no way clubs in the EFL haven’t noticed his class. Two factors make me hopeful that he’ll stay. Firstly, he wears his heart on his sleeve as a Wrexham fan, and hopefully he’ll want to stay and finish what he’s started; and secondly, the injection of cash from our new owners means that, hopefully, for once we are in a position to fend off the predatory interests of the teams above us.
If Davies stays, he’ll hopefully help us get to a level where we’re the club cherry-picking other sides’ best players.