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Ipswich full-back was Championship's top assister

Playmaker's EFL 72: #5 Leif Davis

2024/05/09 13:12

The 'Playmaker 72' profiles began to blur together somewhat as we worked down our prestigious list of the top performers this season - but Playmaker's kaleidoscope of statistical summaries is snapping into focus as we enter the 'Top 5'. 

It's certainly been no easy task, but - just to clarify - our '72' is less a roll call of the best footballers in the EFL and more a tribute to those players who have enjoyed the most memorable seasons while racking up the most impressive stats.

Whatever the criteria, we're confident in our selections of the most outstanding players through the Championship, League One, and League Two and welcome any debate on the subject!

Another climber from last season's countdown, we welcome Ipswich Town's impressive full-back Leif Davis at Number Five. 

Number Five - Leif Davis (Ipswich Town)

When he placed at Number 14 in last year's 'Playmaker 72', we billed Ipswich Town left-back Leif Davis as "League One's assist king" - and he's remarkably taken the crown in the Championship this season as well.  

The second tier's top assister with 18 to his name, Davis has been absolutely integral to Ipswich Town's stunning rise to the Premier League - the 24-year-old helping the Tractor Boys pip his former club Leeds United to automatic promotion this term. 

Davis' wand of a left foot has been a potent weapon for Ipswich ever since he moved to Portman Road ahead of the 2022/23 season, and his 32 league assists for the East Anglians mean he has laid on more goals than any player in 'The 92' over the past two campaigns. 

As Conor Chaplin's support act, Davis has formed part of the most productive goalscorer/assister duo in the second tier - the latter laying on seven of Chaplin's 13 goals during the 2023/24 season, as the Tractor Boys collectively outscored every other club in the Championship with 92 goals.  

An undoubted threat from set-pieces, Davis set-up five goals from dead-ball situations for Ipswich (two corners, three free-kicks) - but his creativity was most evident from free play, the progressive full-back chalking up more key passes (125) than any player across the entire top four tiers of English football this season. 

Davis may only have chipped in with two goals, but he stepped up to the plate at big moments towards the end of the season: a blistering strike in a 3-2 win over Bristol City in March eclipsed by his dramatic injury-time matchwinner in a high stakes victory over promotion rivals Southampton in early April. 

The wideman balanced his staggering offensive output with some very solid defensive numbers as well, Davis ranking third in the Championship for crosses blocked (21) and well inside the division's 'Top 50' for tackles won (76). 

Not bad at all for a player who hadn't played a full season in men's football prior to arriving at Ipswich!

The undoubted catalyst behind Ipswich's successive promotion has been manager Kieran McKenna, and the former Manchester United assistant coach spoke glowingly about his full-back's contribution this season in an interview with Sky Sports back in April. 

"The challenge for him, like all our players, was to push on and show they could compete in the Championship. 

"He's had a really strong season and is a big part of how we play. The consistency of his output is really high from a physical and technical perspective."

After finishing as the "assist king" in both League One and the Championship, could Davis complete a sensational 'Three-peat' in the Premier League next season??

Playmaker's EFL 72...the countdown

6: Sammie Szmodics 7: Harrison Burrows

8: Elliot Lee 9: Adam Armstrong 10: Davis Keillor-Dunn 11: Georginio Rutter 

12: Gabriel Sara 13: Marlon Pack 14: Macaulay Langstaff 15: Ephron Mason-Clark 

16: Dan Kemp 17: Joe Taylor 18: Eiran Cashin 19: Ali Al-Hamadi 

20: Jack Clarke 21: Isaac Olaofe 22: Carl Piergiani 23: Jaden Philogene 

24: Alfie May 25: Will Evans 26: Jamie Reid 27: Morgan Whittaker

28: Conor Chaplin 29: George Thomason 30: Mickey Demetriou

31: Stephy Mavididi 32: Marc Leonard 33: Josh Sheehan

34: Matt Smith 35: Kwame Poku 36: Illan Meslier 37: Aden Flint

38: Ronnie Edwards 39: Josh Sargent 40: Alex Gilbey 41: Ben Sheaf

42: Jobe Bellingham 43: Devante Cole 44: Jacob Greaves 45: Paddy Lane

46: Herbie Kane 47: Dan James 48: Archie Collins 49: Karamoko Dembele

50: Haji Wright 51: Dan Crowley 52: Cameron Brannagan 53: Aaron Collins

54: Andy Cook 55: Connor Shaughnessy 56: Jannik Vestergaard

57: Willy Gnonto 58: Ellis Simms 59: Charlie Hughes 60: Fatawu Isshaku

61: Sam Hoskins 62: Paul Mullin 63: Chris Martin 64: Omari Hutchinson

65: Isaac Hutchinson 66: Sam Tickle 67: Ben Hinchcliffe 68: Michał Helik

69: Lewis Wing 70: Rob Apter 71: Kyle Walker-Peters 72: Alex Palmer

Leif Davis
NameLeif Davis
Born/Age2000-01-12(24 -yrs-old)
PositionDefender (Left Back)



Would you like to comment? Just register!!
2024-05-09 14h55m by mfosterfield
As a football fan, I have to say the anticipation for this top 5 list has been intense! Finally, we get to see who Playmaker 72 considers the best performers this season. I may not agree with all the choices, but it's always fun to debate. Congrats to Leif Davis for making it to number 5, a well-deserved spot.
2024-05-09 14h30m by lhalliday_bart
Wow, what a list of top performers this season! The stats don't lie, and Playmaker's 'Playmaker 72' is definitely showing us who the real stars are. Congrats to Leif Davis for making the cut at Number Five. Can't wait to see who else made the list!
2024-05-09 14h20m by banderson1976
As a football fan, I have to say that I am impressed with the statistical summaries provided by Playmaker. It's been a tough task to narrow down the top performers, but their list is certainly coming into focus now. I appreciate that their &
2024-05-09 13h42m by jwhiteheadbarnes
As a football fan, I have to disagree with the choice of Leif Davis at Number Five. I believe there were other players who had more impact this season and deserved a higher spot. Nevertheless, Playmaker 72 never fails to spark some great debates!
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