Steven Davis

Steven Davis is a Northern Irish central midfielder who was born in Ballymena, Northern Ireland on 1st January 1985. Davis began his career with St Andrews Boys club before moving to Aston Villa in 2002. He stood out at Villa Park instantly, helping the club win the FA Youth Cup months after joining. On 18th September 2004 Davis made his first team debut in a 0-0 draw at Norwich. He was a Villa regular throughout 2004/05, and quickly became a fans favourite with a number of fine box to box displays. Davis demonstrated a great skills set, along with a quality first touch. His vision and passing capabilities have never been in question. Davis scored his first senior goal for Villa on 16th April 2005. David O’Leary's men had been 2-0 down at Southampton before Carlton Cole and Nolberto Solano scored to level things up. Davis then fired in a 72 minute winner, which helped Villa secure a top ten finish.

Davis’ club form didn't go unnoticed by Northern Ireland international manager Lawrie Sanchez, who handed the midfielder his first cap on 9th February 2005, a friendly defeat to Canada. He shone for club and country throughout 2005/06. Although Villa suffered a difficult time of it in the league Davis’ form was largely unaffected. On 13th August 2005 he scored in the opening day 2-2 draw with Bolton. Davis provided the assist for David Healy in Northern Ireland's famous 1-0 win over England on 7th September 2005, before netting his first international goal in a 3-2 defeat to Wales on 8th October 2005. In between those games Davis scored a brace in an 8-3 cup win over Wycombe, and another goal in a 2-3 defeat against Middlesbrough. Davis won Aston Villa's Young Player of the Year award for 2005/06, as well as Fans Player of the Year and Player of the Year.

Davis started 2006/07 fairly well under new boss Martin O’Neill. The Northern Irish midfielder made most of his appearances from the bench during the second half of the season however.

In the summer of 2007 Davis made a £4,000,000 move to Fulham, linking up with his former international manager Lawrie Sanchez. The former Villa man appeared 22 times for the Cottagers, but performed well below his capabilities. When Sanchez was replaced in the Craven Cottage hot-seat by Roy Hodgson, Davis was free to find new employment.

On 31st January 2008 Davis signed for Rangers on loan until the end of the season. He impressed for his boyhood idols almost immediately, making his debut on 13th February 2008 against Panathinaikos. Davis scored his first goal for The Gers on 6th March 2008 in a 2-0 UEFA Cup win over Werder Bremen. He helped the club reach the final of that competition where they came up against Zenit at the City of Manchester Stadium. Rangers lost to the Russians, but Davis had still done more than enough to impress during his first six months at Ibrox. He did pick up a Scottish League Cup and Scottish Cup winners medal for 2007/08.

Davis signed for Rangers on a permanent basis in August 2008. Over the next three years he had a huge influence on the team, helping the Gers to three consecutive league titles, as well as another three cups. He contributed a great deal to Walter Smith’s unit and was one on the main attacking outlets. On 9th May 2009 he scored the only goal of the game against rivals Celtic. Davis also netted in another Old Firm game on 20th March 2011, helping Rangers to a League Cup Final victory. He was named SPFA Player of the Year for 2010.

Davis started the 2011/12 season in a rich vein of form. He committed his long term future to Rangers in July 2011 by signing a five year contract, and quickly became captain when veteran David Weir dropped out. Davis provided two assists in a 4-2 win over Celtic on 18th September 2011. A few weeks later he was named SPL Player of the Month. Davis continued to shine throughout 2011/12, despite Rangers' point's deduction, which left the club well adrift of Celtic. He bagged a double on 28th January 2012 in a 4-0 win over Hibernian. Davis exercised his right to terminate his contract in the summer of 2012 when Rangers were placed in liquidation.

On 6th July 2012 Davis signed for Premier League Southampton on a three year deal. Signed on the cheap from crisis club Rangers in the summer. Davis netted just two minutes into his debut at Manchester City in August. His good early season form went under the radar slightly. Davis dropped to the bench in November 2012 following Jack Cork's return to fitness. He still invariably made a decent impact coming off the bench. He was Deployed in a more advanced role under Mauricio Pochettino where he improved considerably. He was inspired as a substitute against Manchester United and Wigan. Davis scored his second goal in an outstanding 3-1 win over Man City in February. Was sometimes accused (slightly unfairly for the most part) of going missing in games. Provided a fabulous assist for Jay Rodriguez against Chelsea in March. Showcased his creativity in matches with Reading and West Ham.