What Can Reds Fans Expect From Davis

As the clock struck 12 on Friday night, the world (well, specifically England) rolled into a new year, full of new hopes and positivises. And just 18 hours into it, Forest fans were greeted by the arrival of a new man in red; Aston Villa striker Keinan Davis.

The 24-year-old has joined the club to bolster a tetchy Forest attack on a loan until the end of the season. However, with just 3 league goals in a 73-game long playing career so far, many fans are reasonably dubious over the impact the former England U20 man may have. In this article, I will be going over some of the statistical strengths and weaknesses Davis has, in order to provide more of an idea on whether he will be the hero Forest needs or live up to his parent club’s namesake and be a villain.

Career so far

Born and raised in Stevenage, and a product of the Stevenage academy, which he was released from in 2015. He was soon picked up by non-league side Biggleswade Town, from which he was scouted and signed from by Aston Villa following a friendly between the two sides. Davis was handed his first senior appearance by then-Villa manager Steve Bruce, as a substitute in a 2-0 cup loss to Tottenham in January 2017. He made a further 6 Championship showings that season and had to wait until the season after before securing his first senior goal, latching onto a cross to head home his sides third in a 3-0 thrashing at Barnsley in September.

The season looked bright for Davis from there, starting a further 11 league games, scoring again 10 days later against Burton Albion to start off a 4-0 drubbing. However, he failed to hit the back of the net in the league for nearly four years, by which time Villa were a Premier League side again, when he tapped home in the 92nd minute to rescue a point in a 2-2 draw with West Brom last season.

A lack of opportunities for Davis this season has brought him to the opposite side of the Midlands, making just a solitary top-flight appearance this term, and links up with Steve Coopers side to join a front line that consists of just Lyle Taylor and Lewis Grabban, with Xande Silva largely expected to depart the club this winter.

What can he offer?

On paper, Forest have brought in a striker who has scored just three times in 73 league games. But looking into it deeper, it would be silly to write Davis off immediately.

While his scoring stats may leave plenty to be desired, what he can offer in hold up play and physicality will unquestionably offer the Reds strength with a fresh dynamic that Taylor and Grabban cannot. Standing at 6’3 with a strong build, Davis actually ranks amongst the highest in the Premier League in terms of his duels won across the 19/20 and 20/21 campaigns for Villa, losing just seven aerial battles out of 52 across those seasons.

Davis also scored highly in touches in the box, fouls suffered and offensive duels won, indicating that Forest have brought in a striker who is hungry and willing to work hard for the cause. It is also worth indicating that in those 73 league appearances, only 20 of them have been starts, with Davis completing 500 minutes in a season just once in his career.

The ethos at Nottingham Forest definitely seems to be more interested in what a player can achieve, rather than what they already have. Whether Davis can come in and be the answer in his six month stay in Nottingham will stay in doubt until a ball is kicked, but the attributes he does possess may outweigh the basics that we see on paper.

It’s easy to look at his record and write him off immediately, but there’s still more than enough to suggest that Keinan Davis can kick on under Steve Cooper and succeed.

*Article provided by Louis Wheeldon (Football Correspondent).

*Main image @NFFC Keinan Davis checks in to the Nigel Doughty Academy.

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