Kevin Phillips applauded the decision to extend Keinan Davis’ contract at Aston Villa and claimed the striker has great potential.

The former Claret and Blue, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, suggested the striker could be a real force in the Championship if Villa suffer relegation this season.

As exclusively revealed by Football Insider yesterday morning, the Midlands giants have triggered an option in the 22-year-old’s existing deal to keep him at the club for a further 12 months.

Davis’ current contract was due to expire in June, which would have opened the door to potential exit in the summer window.

Phillips admitted he was surprised Smith has not handed the young forward more game time in the long-term absence of the injured Wesley.

“It is good news for the young player,” he told Football Insider.

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“He has been predominantly used as an impact sub this year but he has potential. You would not want a player like that to slip through your hands and go on and develop into a good player somewhere else.

“It is a good bit of business from Villa because they will have one eye on the Championship next year. He is certainly a player that can help them get back up if they were to go down. A sensible move.

“I am surprised he has not been given more of a chance with Wesley injured and when we reconvene he might get that chance. Villa will need results.”

Davis has made eight Premier League appearances this campaign but is still waiting for his first league start.

The former England under-20 international has one senior goal to his name this year, a second-half strike against Crewe Alexandra in the EFL Cup.

In other Aston Villa news, it can be REVEALED that the club stand to lose £37m in a potentially devastating blow.