Preston North End manager Alex Neil is delighted to see former player Ben Davies join Premier League champions Liverpool.

Barrovian Davies left Deepdale to sign for Jurgen Klopp’s side last week.

He had been at Preston since joining their academy as a child, with Neil noting the centre-back’s progress.

The 39-year-old Scot told iFollow PNE: “It’s incredible. I am so pleased for him. There are only a handful of clubs that we would have actively let Ben go to, because he was so important to us between now and the end of the season.

“Equally, him walking out of the door for nothing would have been a travesty for us, so the fact we have got some money in for him is good.

“The opportunity and the chance to go to the world champions was something dreams are made of. Ben came through the Academy here; I worked with him for four seasons and he really has transformed as a person and a player and I couldn’t be happier for him.”

Peter Risdale, the Preston owner’s representative, believes the deal says a lot about the club’s academy.

He added: “I think as an advert from the club’s point of view for someone who’s come through our Academy to be going to the current Premier League champions and Club World Cup holders is an amazing move. I think it’s put Preston on the map as well as Ben Davies.

“We’re delighted for him and I’ve never seen any transfer out of a player to be as welcomed by our existing squad. Not because they wanted to lose Ben but they realised how important it was for his career, for this football club and a pathway for the successful players here if they can do on the field what we’d like them to.”