What will David Brooks bring to Bournemouth?
The summer transfer period tends to be a hectic few months, where new personal goals are unearthed, while career-defining decisions are made by players, clubs and agents alike. One man who recently made his move is former Sheffield United midfielder, David Brooks.
Now a Bournemouth player and nearly turning 21, Brooks will embark on a new quest in his professional career. But will he be good enough for Premier League football? Will Eddie Howe use him properly? Or will he just be another Premier League hopeful who will slowly fade away?
Firstly, Brooks began his academy career with Manchester City and Sheffield United. His first professional season was spent on loan with Halifax Town. Brooks only made five appearances for the National League outfit, but scored his first career goal during his short stint there. It was only last season when the 20-year-old made his senior league debut, from then, he's gone from strength-to-strength. The midfielder scored his first Sheffield United goal against Leeds United back in October, helping his side secure all three points.
The midfielder went on to play 42 times across all competitions, scoring four, while tacking on nine assists for his teammates. His potential was beginning to show.
Brooks made his international debut with Wales back in November 2017, despite his dual eligibility; meaning he could've also chosen England. He has gone on to win three caps with the Dragons to date. Appearing for a national side at just 20 would obviously raise interest from a handful of club managers. Howe was the one pounce first.
Known to play both the central and attacking-midfield roles predominantly, Brooks also offers an outlet from the flank. The ability showed last season showcased how he likes to dribble with the ball into attacking areas, constantly trying to cause a threat for opposing defences. Playing key through balls is a trait the youngster has accustomed to; a rare commodity amongst homegrown talents. He likes to take set-pieces, largely thanks to his excellent delivery. If there was one thing to work on, it'd have to be his discipline.
Being just 20-years-old reiterates the opportunity Brooks has; with Premier League football at the palm of his hands. Now at Bournemouth, he could be competing for places with players such as Andrew Surman, Harry Arter, Dan Gosling, Lewis Cook and Marc Pugh. With stars aplenty battling it out for a central-midfield role, Brooks will have to step up his game to become a Cherries regular.
Breaking into the first-team will be the first task, but training at this higher level will give him ample opportunity to improve. Howe will be aware it's a new environment for the former Blades midfielder, thankfully, though, time is on his side. The initial £10million fee that Bournemouth paid is a sign they believe he's ready for top-flight football despite his tender age.
The next twelve months or so is likely to be a settling in period for Brooks. Don't expect him to start every game, instead, he'll drift in and out of the side, likely getting the majority of his minutes as a substitute. If given the chance to develop at his own pace, Brooks has the potential to become a Premier League regular under Howe's brilliant leadership.