After coming on at half-time against Manchester City, Keinan Davis must surely be pushing for a rare start in Aston Villa colours when West Brom come to town on Sunday night.
The 23-year-old has only played a peripheral role in Dean Smith’s side’s Premier League campaign thus far, playing just ten times in the competition – even that has only amounted to 147 minutes of action.
However, after being brought on for Jacob Ramsey at the interval in Villa’s 2-1 defeat to Man City last time out, the striker should be in the frame to start, especially given that West Brom have endured a nightmare campaign which has seen them concede 62 goals in the season – the most of any top-flight club by far.
While that might involve a rare tactical shift from Smith to go with two centre-forwards, it could just give Villa that extra edge and spark that they’ve been missing in recent weeks – a run of just one win in their last seven top-flight games has seen them lose major ground in the battle for a European place for next season.
The 1.89m (6 foot 3) Davis has one huge admirer in teammate and club captain Jack Grealish, who even insisted that he compares favourably with the likes of former Villa striker Christian Benteke.
The England international said: “He’s so strong, honestly, so, so strong. He’s one of the best hold-up players I’ve ever played with and that includes the likes of Benteke and stuff. Honestly, he’s unbelievable. The only thing he needs to add to his game is his end product.”
Speaking to FFC’s sister site This is Futbol, former Villa midfielder Lee Hendrie has suggested that Davis’ introduction into the starting line-up would be the kind of bold call which could pay off for Smith.
He said: “I think it could work. I don’t see why he can’t try it. I think we’re in a situation now where I don’t think they’re going to qualify for Europe; it’s all about finishing as high up as possible, which is still very tight in that midsection.
“So, yeah, I mean, it’s certainly an option that you can look at. I do like the fact that Keinan holds the ball up well. I think it might work. I don’t think it will happen. But it’d be great, it would be great to see.”
Given Villa’s struggles in recent weeks, bringing Davis into the fold could be the kind of game-changing move to kick Smith’s side back into form as the season nears its conclusion.