STEVEN Davis will be remembered as a crucial cog in the Saints midfield during the first five years after the club’s return to the Premier League.

The 34 year-old was often under-rated but his many qualities did not go unnoticed by Saints fans or indeed the Daily Echo’s Adam Leitch, who wrote this tribute during what proved to be the club captain’s last full season at St Mary’s.

“What a fantastic signing Steven Davis has proven to be. He is Saints’ Mr Dependable.

“Not only is he far more creative and skilful than he is often given credit for, but his work rate, his professionalism and his determination are huge for the club and a lesson to young players everywhere.

“There is no hint of the stereotypical flash Premier League player in Davis.

“He is a solid pro trying to make the best of his career every single time he steps out on to the pitch. Saints are so lucky to have him.

“Alright, he may not be flash or glamorous, he may not be a number ten to keep the crowd on the edge of their seats, but he is so effective, and much more so than anybody else Saints have for that role.

“Any manager would be well advised to consider putting Davis in the central attacking role of the three behind the main striker in the 4-2-3-1 and then working out who to play around him.”

While goalscoring was not one of Davis’s main attributes, there were some crucial strikes amongst his 14 in 226 appearances.

Here are some of his greatest moments in a Saints shirt.


August 19, 2012

Saints were in dreamland when Davis put them 2-1 up at the home of the champions – two minutes after coming on for his debut. Adam Lallana intercepted Jack Rodwell’s pass, broke forward and fed Davis, who swept the ball in from just inside the area.


February 9 2013

Davis put Saints 2-0 up in the 22nd minute to ensure Saints went one better than they did on the opening day of the season. He was the first to react when Joe Hart let a Rickie Lambert shot squirm through his arms.


January 1, 2015

On his 30th birthday, Davis produced a sublime piece of skill to set up Saints’ second goal. Victor Wanyama chipped a ball down the right, which Davis did quite marvellously to bring under control without breaking stride and then cross. Arsenal’s Mathieu Debuchy deflected the ball back towards Wojciech Szczecny, who gifted it to Dusan Tadic. He took a touch to control and then stabbed it in at the near post.


October 3 2015

Scored a stunning 43rd-minute equaliser a minute before half-time during an outstanding performance in this famous win. Jose Fonte launched a high ball towards Graziano Pellè, who showed immense strength on the edge of the area to stand firm under pressure and chest off square to Davis, who hit a peach of a half-volley into the bottom corner.


November 1 2015

Gave Saints a 31st minute lead, side-footing home a volley which Adam Federici got a hand to to but couldn’t keep out during a brilliant first-half display.


May 8 2016

His only Premier League brace could not have come at a better time. Saints trailed 1-0 to Son Heung-min’s opener at White Hart Lane on the penultimate day of the season. But Davis’s second-half double clinched an impressive win over former Saints boss Mauricio Pochettino’s second-placed Spurs. It kept Saints on course for the Europa League.

Davis equalised in the 31st minute. Cuco Martina lofted a pass down the right for Dusan Tadic, whose excellent control, turn and low ball found Davis at the near post. Davis quickly flicked the ball goalwards and the ball squirmed past Hugo Lloris from eight yards. He made it a dream double on 72 minutes. After collecting the ball on the right he drifted inside and played a one-two with Tadic, who was inside the area with his back to goal. Davis continued to track across goal just inside the area and hit a low right-footed shot. Diving to his left at full stretch, Lloris couldn’t get a touch.


May 15 2016

Ended the season with another quality performance, capped by an 87th minute goal, as Saints clinched their place in the Europa League in style. When Pellè chested down a Cuco Martina cross, Davis drilled in his third goal in two games.


September 16 2017

Scored the winner on his 200th appearance for the club, after being restored to an attacking midfield role, where he was at his best for Saints. He started the sixth-minute move by playing the ball out to Dusan Tadic and finished it as he calmly slotted into the bottom corner after the Serbian’s cross had been palmed his way by the diving Wayne Hennessey.


October 29 2017

When James Ward-Prowse clattered the near post with a superb 20-yard free-kick, Steven Davis was in the right place at the right time to put a stooping header into an unguarded net from just outside the six-yard box.


November 26 2017

His last Saints goal was one of his best. He put the gloss on a very good win in the 87th minute.

James Ward-Prowse cut the ball back to his fellow midfielder, who let loose a superb right-footed shot from the edge of the area that bent into the far corner.