After falling out of favour at the Reebok Stadium since the appointment of manager Dougie Freedman, fans favourite Kevin Davies’s contract was controversially left to expire at the end of last season. This put an abrupt end to Kevin’s wonderful 10 year reign at the Reebok. After bowing out and saying farewell to the Reebok faithful after the draw against Blackpool Kevin’s been without a club since July 1st.
Since a brief celebrity ‘kick around’ in the Barbados legends tournament Kevin has been out of work. Despite being heavily linked with a number of clubs Davies has still not put pen to paper on a deal. I’ve been wondering why and scouting the possibilities for the veteran striker.
Amongst the interested clubs are a mix of championship, league 1 and premier league teams. Sunderland were reportedly interesting in the January transfer window with their manager at the time Martin O’Neil being a long admirer of the former England international. Since then O’Neil has been dismissed and those reports seem to have cooled.
There has also been interest in the championship with a host of clubs involved. Reportedly Burnley and Sheffield Wednesday are front runners for his signature. Burnley manager Sean Dyche knows Davies pretty well. Back in the 1990's they played alongside each other for Chesterfield. This could possibly sway Kevin’s decision; he has stated that he wants to stay local, although it would kill me to see Kevin wearing claret and sky blue.
Another well linked team has been Sheffield Wednesday. Davies grew up in East Yorkshire and he was part of Sheffield United's academy before being released at 15, consequently joining Chesterfield. Manager Dave Jones is an admirer and Kevin would mould well into their physical side and style of play. Davies has also had past experience with Jones; being managed by him in the early stages of his career at Southampton.
Although Kevin has stated his intent to try and stay in the top division of English football there’s been interest from League 1 side Preston North End. It has been rumoured that Davies is close friends with Simon Grayson and a move would be on the cards. Various pictures have flown around social media of Kevin at Deepdale, supposedly in talks about joining the club. Grayson has since spoken to the Lancashire Evening post and said,
‘He has got a few options and has to consider which is the best one for the next year or so of his footballing career…we are certainly still in with a great shout of getting him, although there are other teams involved too.’
Interest is definitely there. It seems like Kevin is carefully mulling over his options. A local move would be on the cards with his family well settled in the area. Davies’ charity work is also Bolton based. I hope that he can find a club in the near future and begin his pre-season training. It’s strange thinking about him wearing a shirt that doesn’t have a Bolton Wanderers logo on it but one that we need to get used to.
I’d like to thank Kevin for 10 years of undoubted loyalty and commitment to Bolton Wanderers. Let’s not forget that he is still a competent striker who holds an England cap to his name. I’ll always remember him for that iconic goal in the Allianz arena against Oliver Kahn 6 years ago.
Thank you, and good luck SKD.