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Aston Villa starlet a target for Manchester United?

Manchester United are interested in signing Aston Villa star Keinan Davis according to reports. The 19-year-old striker has already been compared to former Villa and United striker Dwight Yorke after forcing his way into the Villa first team under former United captain Steve Bruce. Davis replaced Jonathan Kodjia in the 2-1 victory over Fulham in the Championship on Saturday afternoon. It is said that United are in pole position to sign the teenager, who will turn 20 in the 13th February 2018, ahead of both Arsenal and Everton who are also interested in securing his services.

David was released by former club Stevenage two years ago and in that time he has already scored twice in ten matches for Villa. Back in December 2015, Davis was playing for Biggleswade Town, which shows how much he has grown as a player. It makes me wonder if Stevenage regrets letting him leave, especially now he’s linked to one of the biggest clubs in the world.  Biggleswade could regret letting him go too as they won’t receive any money from a possible transfer, accepting £5,000 and gate receipts from Villa’s U23 matches for the player’s transfer – no sell-on clause being present.

The interest from United might be something or nothing, but at U23 level, which is where Davis would step into, are currently short of attacking talent, not having a great start to the new season and needing some impetus in the team. Ricky Sbragia and Nicky Butt could be ready to pounce on Davis, or even other players as soon as the January transfer window opens, strengthening the team for the second half of the season, which may be too late to mount a Premier League 2 title challenge.

United have, in the past, given non-league players a chance, the last being Chris Smalling who was brought in from Fulham in the summer of 2010 and has been a part of the first team for many years, despite many, including myself, suggesting he left the club last summer, no move materialised. Two years before he played for Fulham, Smalling played for Maidstone. Biggleswade U18 coach Dave Northfield has suggested that David could be set for the big time, saying:

“It’s been an incredible journey. When Stevenage released him, they said he would never play professionally. But Keinan can play so many ways. He’s strong and great at holding up the ball but he’s also deceptively quick.”

This could all be speculation at this moment in time, but one thing is clear, United have not stopped looking at talented youth to boost their team. Not every player can be developed in the Academy. The Class of 92 was something which will probably never happen again as a top club. Many opposition supporters moan about United seeking talent from other clubs, but that is how football works. I am sure the clubs they support have recruited youth players from other clubs, so if it is good enough for one, it is good enough for them all. This may be a speculative report, but stranger things have happened.

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