Bournemouth’s David Brooks is reportedly high on Aston Villa’s winter wish-list as Dean Smith continues to target young talent.
Brooks, 23, made his name with the Cherries after securing a move from Sheffield United in 2018. He hit the ground running at the Vitality Stadium, scoring seven goals in his first season on the south coast.
That came from 30 appearances but injury struck last term, limiting him to just nine league outings. An initial period of rest failed to do the trick and he underwent ankle surgery in December 2019.
The Wales international was out of action until March but his return could not prevent Bournemouth slipping into the Championship and the subsequent exit of manager Eddie Howe.
Now under the guidance of Jason Tindall, Brooks has scored three times from 16 outings this term. He has helped the club reach third in the table – six points behind table-topping Norwich but with a game in hand.
Brooks has made no secret of his desire to play in England’s top division. He would like it to be with his present employers but a move to Villa Park might be on the cards.
Villa chief Smith has not been scared to spend big since taking the West Midlanders back into the Premier League. They have prospered this season and sit eighth in the table after 15 games.
The former Brentford boss is determined to keep improving his squad and favours domestic players. That might mean a move for Brooks, with Villa’s money men giving the green light to the move, according to the Sunday Mirror.
Having come up through the Manchester City youth ranks, he has the talent to operate in the Premier League. He generally plays on the right and would battle with Anwar El Ghazi and Trezeguet for that role.
Olise joins Brooks on Villa wish list
Villa are also said to be keen on Reading’s Michael Olise. The 19-year-old has enjoyed his breakthrough season for the Royals, helping the Berkshire outfit into the Championship play-off positions.
The France Under-18 midfielder penned a three-year deal in the summer but could be targeted by the Villans. Like Brooks, he also spent time at the Manchester City academy and was fast-tracked to Reading’s first team.
The Hammersmith-born star has four goals from 19 league outings this term and is rated highly at the Madejski Stadium. Whether Villa can get him only time will tell but Smith seems to have a long-term plan with the youngsters linked.