BROOKS COULD BE THE NEXT BIG THING...
PAYING £197m for a global superstar is all well and good, but sometimes talent is right under your own nose.
Remember Wilfried Zaha’s remarkable breakout season in 2010-11? Or Danny Ings’ unexpected emergence as a goalmachine as Burnley clinched promotion in 2014?
This year, that player could be David Brooks. Sparingly played by Sheffield United last term, the 20-year-old midfielder was all set to join Chesterfield on loan as part of the deal that brought Ched Evans back to Bramall Lane.
Then, in May, he was called up to England’s squad for the Under-20 Toulon Tournament. Brooks shone, scoring in the final against Cote D’Ivoire and winning player of the tournament.
United swiftly pulled the plug on that loan move and unleashed Brooks on a string of unsuspecting pre-season opponents.
Four goals later, including a memorable solo effort against the Spireites, Everton lead a host of Premier League clubs eagerly eyeing the former Manchester City trainee.
Gaffer Chris Wilder has spent the summer pointedly ignoring questions about Brooks, insisting the leggy playmaker’s target is purely to win a first-team berth.
Privately, however, he is as excited as any Blades fan by the youngster’s emergence. Less flamboyant than the teenage Zaha, Brooks still possesses the same refreshing fearlessness, combining athleticism with an instinctive eye for goal.
If he adds fitness and consistency, the division could have a new star.
TALENT: David Brooks