Aston Villa

Aston Villa striker Keinan Davis has got a “good chance” of becoming a top Premier League hitman, according to Alex McLeish.

The former Villa and Scotland manager, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, believes the promising forward will be given the time and opportunities to develop his natural talent under Dean Smith.

Villa confirmed earlier this week that the 22-year-old had signed a contract extension set to keep him at the club until 2024.

He currently looks to be Dean Smith’s second-choice striker behind Ollie Watkins following the departure of Mbwana Samatta to Fenerbahce and has played in all three of the Villans’ games this season.

McLeish admits that Davis caught the eye with his performances last term and believes he has an excellent chance to become a top striker at the club after his fellow striker’s departure.

McLeish told Football Insider: “He’s an interesting young player, saw him come onto the scene last year. He’s very strong and he muscled his way past defenders at times, then you see the inconsistency.

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“It’s very difficult for strikers to become awesome in the Premier League in one fell swoop, it takes a bit of time. That’s why he’s been tied down for a few more years on his contract.

“He’ll realise he’s young and he’ll realise he’s got a good chance. Samatta’s gone, he’s got a good chance of making an impact when he gets the chance to make that impact.

“There’s great competition for those slots but if Watkins is not doing it – which I think he will do, he’s already shown he’s a born scorer – the next step is for Davis to show he’s got the bottle, the mentality, the technique, to become a top Villa player.” 

Davis has played a total of 70 games and scored five times for Villa to date, though most of his appearances have come as a substitute.

He scored his first goal of this season against Burton Albion in the League Cup, while he chipped in with an assist against Bristol City in the next round.

In other Aston Villa news, Football Insider can reveal an agent has been given the mandate to sell a goal-scoring midfielder to Villa.