Ben Davies: Wales star can win Champions League with Tottenham - Michael Laudrup

Michael Laudrup
Michael Laudrup managed Swansea City between 2012 and 2014

Michael Laudrup believes Ben Davies, the defender he plucked from academy football, can win the Champions League with Tottenham Hotspur.

Spurs face Liverpool in the 2018-19 final in Madrid on Saturday.

Ex-Swansea City boss Laudrup, a 1992 European Cup winner with Barcelona, feels Spurs' record this season makes them contenders.

"You need to give them a good chance of lifting the trophy," Laudrup told BBC Sport Wales.

"Liverpool may be the favourite for the final, but this season in the Champions League Tottenham has survived so many times: in the group stage, against Manchester City and in the semi-final against Ajax."

Davies aims to become only the seventh Welsh footballer to win European club football's biggest prize, after Ian Rush, Joey Jones, Ryan Giggs, Jayne Ludlow, Gareth Bale and Jess Fishlock.

His one career honour to date came when he helped Laudrup's Swansea triumph in the 2012-13 League Cup.

Former Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid star Laudrup gave Davies, then a little known member of Swansea's development squad, his senior debut in August 2012.

Laudrup turned to Davies after Neil Taylor, Swansea's regular left-back at the time, suffered a serious ankle injury.

Ben Davies
Ben Davies has made 40 appearances for Spurs this season

"Alan Curtis (then a Swansea coach) told me about Ben and when I saw him in training I saw his potential," Laudrup said.

"Even if Neil hadn't got injured I am sure Ben would have broken through - maybe a bit later, but he would have done it.

"He was a great young guy who was very professional and wanted to improve every day."

After 85 appearances for Swansea - the club he grew up supporting - Davies moved to White Hart Lane in 2014 in a swap deal involving Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Davies has since played 168 times for Spurs, while he also has 44 Wales caps.

"Ben is football-intelligent, meaning he knows what to do in a specific playing situation," Laudrup said.

"He has good pace and has individual skills, which nowadays is important in his position because apart from defending, full-backs need to participate a lot in the attacking part (of the game) - in particular if they play in the big teams."

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Tottenham ready to make Champions League history - Ben Davies

Davies was one of Mauricio Pochettino's first signings at Tottenham and has proved a reliable performer in north London, where he competes with Danny Rose for the left-back role.

Laudrup added: "I think Ben has done very well and I think Tottenham think the same way, otherwise he wouldn't have been there so long.

"You can never predict how far a talent can go because, apart from the talent, you need other things.

"Some of these things have to come from the player but it also depends on what manager or managers the player gets. Here Ben has been lucky!"

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