Aston Villa cruised to a 6-1 victory over Crewe in the third round of the Carabao Cup in mid-week, and one player who seized their opportunity in the first-team with aplomb was academy graduate Keinan Davis.
Davis, 21, scored a well-taken goal as part of his side’s mauling of Crewe, and the striker looked impressive throughout the tie to reward Dean Smith’s decision to reward him with a start.
Whilst the West Midlands side have signed numerous attacking players in the summer window, including club-record signing Wesley, former Birmingham playmaker Jota and turning the loan of Anwar El Ghazi into a permanent deal, Davis offers an attacking dimension of raw pace and energy that is not currently seen in Villa’s attacking options.
Davis is directly competing with the likes of Wesley, who scored his first league goal for Villa against Everton, and therefore further minutes in the Premier League may be difficult to come by for the 21-year-old, but if Smith can find the faith to give Davis further opportunities, he is unlikely to be disappointed given the striker’s impressive performance against Crewe.
With three appearances for England’s U20s, Davis is a player of international calibre in the youth ranks, and Smith’s decision to not loan out the promising forward could suggest he has a part to play in Villa’s attempts to re-establish the club as a Premier League heavy-weight following a three-year absence from the division.
Following two frustrating defeats to Spurs and Bournemouth, Villa secured their first victory of the 2019/20 campaign with an impressive 2-0 victory over Everton, and coupled with the 6-1 victory over Crewe, Smith will be hoping to make it three wins in a row from all competitions when they travel to Selhurst Park to take on Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Whilst Smith may not opt to give Davis another start against Palace despite his impressive performance against Crewe in mid-week, it is evident that Villa have a player in their ranks who, if called upon in 2019/20, can certainly deliver to the standards of the English top-flight and has the ability to make a serious impact for Villa in their return to the Premier League.