David Brooks: ‘I’m not the most physical … I have to impress in other ways’ | Ed Aarons

After he was released by Manchester City a long list of clubs told the midfielder that he was too small before Sheffield United and then Bournemouth looked deeper

David Brooks can vividly recall the day he realised his time at Manchester City was coming to an end. “When I went to sign my scholarship at the beginning of the under-17s, I turned up to one of the awards ceremonies and there were about seven players I had never seen before – all foreign lads playing international football,” remembers the fresh-faced 21-year-old from Woolston in Warrington. “There ended up being a squad of 25-30 players at under-18 level – as a young lad you need to be playing and I just wasn’t doing that. I think the writing was on the wall.”

Fast forward four years and the player who was once so small that he had to borrow kit from City’s under-7s when he was nine has matured into one of the breakthrough stars of the Premier League season. The goal against Fulham in last week’s 4-0 victory at Craven Cottage was his third since joining Bournemouth for an initial £11.5m in the summer from Sheffield United, with Brooks also making his competitive debut for Ryan Giggs’s Wales in the Nations League victory over the Republic of Ireland last month.

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