York City boss Nigel Worthington keeping tabs on loan star Ben Davies
BEN Davies is the loan player that York City boss Nigel Worthington would most like to lure back to Bootham Crescent next season.
With a move for Charlton shot-stopper Nick Pope already ruled out following his return to the Valley, Worthington has made it clear that he is interested in securing Davies' services for 2014/15.
The 18-year-old full back made more appearances - 47 - than any other City player last term following his arrival on a season-long loan from Preston in the summer.
At Deepdale, meanwhile, fellow left-backs Scott Laird and David Buchanan still have 12 months left to run on their respective contracts, which could again limit Davies' first-team opportunities with the Lillywhites.
Offering his thoughts on making another approach for Davies, Worthington said: "From the loan players, he would be top of the list in terms of who I would like to bring back. Ben grew as a player all the way through the season and finished it very strongly having played most of the games."
Wingers Ryan Brobbel and Will Hayhurst have also returned to their respective parent clubs Middlesbrough and Preston, meaning Worthington is likely to look at alternative options in those wide positions now.
He is not ruling out returns to North Yorkshire for either player, though, depending on the make-up of his squad come July.
Brobbel missed Friday's Sky Bet League Two semi-final, second leg tie at Fleetwood due to a sore hamstring, while Hayhurst played 90 minutes before being replaced when teenage defender Tom Allan was thrown upfield as a makeshift striker.
The City chief added: "They are going back to their contracted clubs and it will really be a case of getting to pre-season and seeing where we are squad wise and what the other clubs' plans are for those lads. We will need to get summer out of the way first, then get everybody back in and see what we need.
"I felt we could have got more from Brobbs. He didn't quite get to the level he should be doing and I've said that to him but he knows what he has to do.
"Will Hayhurst brought quality at set-pieces and worked well down the left with Ben, so he did quite well."
Sheffield United have also released former City loanee Elliott Whitehouse with Worthington suggesting that the 20-year-old midfielder fell into a similar bracket as Brobbel and Hayhurst.
"After a holiday, I will sit down with the chairman and Steve (Torpey) and we will have a greater idea by then which individuals we will need," he said.
In total, Worthington made nine loan signings - Brobbel, Davies, Hayhurst, Pope, Whitehouse, Chris Kettings, Keith Lowe, Aaron McCarey, Luke O'Neill and George Taft - last season and could look to utilise that element to the transfer market again in 2014/15.
"You have got to use it where you can," he argued. "It can be a way of enlarging your squad through the season, without adding to the number of players on the books."
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