Keinan Davis hasn’t made a single appearance in the Championship for Aston Villa this season and hasn’t made the match day squad since the Reading game. After signing a bumper contract last season – has the 21-year-old been dropped all together?
Words by Matt Blogg (@Blogg_Matt)
Keinan Davis hasn’t made a Championship appearance for Aston Villa all season, and unless Tammy Abraham gets a long-term injury, his chances of getting one don’t look too promising. The 21 year old has only made the bench a handful of times and was rumoured to be close to a loan move in January, but ultimately he is still at Villa and is being criminally overlooked.
Tammy Abraham has played twenty-eight championship games for Villa this season and has only been subbed off in seven of those, with four of these changes coming later than the 85th minute. The man must be knackered. Twenty goals in these games is a brilliant record and a perfect argument as to why he deserves to play 90 minutes every week, but why can’t anybody else get a chance?
More specifically, why can’t Keinan Davis get a chance? When Davis played for Villa consistently at the start of last season, he was a revelation, being praised no-end for his hold up play and his providing of the link between midfield and attack. He freed up the players around him and showed maturity beyond his years to bring others into play and allow them to flourish. Conor Hourihane would arguably not have scored his hat-trick against Norwich without Keinan Davis, so he must deserve a chance now to light up what is a flat and struggling team. Abraham has only scored one goal in his last five games, so it is surely time to try new things. Dean Smith clearly does realise this, bringing on Jacob Ramsey against West Brom, but Abraham is seemingly untouchable, especially since Scott Hogan is no longer on the bench to replace him, which Smith did a few times before Hogan went out on loan.
Having not even made the bench since the Reading game on February 2nd, there is a chance that Davis may have picked up an injury that we are not aware of, but the fact that he has failed to leave the bench once all season makes it just as plausible (if not more) that he has just been dropped altogether. Considering the striker signed a bumper contract last season, it is a bit worrying that he is struggling to get a look in under Dean Smith, who you would think will be Villa manager for a reasonable amount of time.
Smith sent a huge number of players out on loan in January with the intention of getting them ready for first team football at Villa Park, so Davis’ exemption from a loan move says one of two things. Either Smith didn’t really fancy sending him out on loan because he has no interest at all in actually using him in the future, or he deemed Davis ready for first team football already. Either way, he is still at the club and right now he probably wishes he wasn’t. A young and very promising footballer like Davis will want to be playing every week, and he really should be considered for game time at Villa, so it is a real shock that he is being frozen out so harshly. Not even having a one-minute cameo in the league this season says it all.
Keinan Davis is being criminally overlooked at Villa due to the untouchable stature of Tammy Abraham, but if Smith doesn’t want to bring Abraham off then surely two up top could be an option? Davis would take the burden off Abraham and free him up to find more spaces and have more freedom on the ball, so whether Tammy Abraham is top scorer or not, Keinan Davis has to be given a chance, with or without Abraham alongside him.