Manchester United's Nick Powell can still reach the level of Tottenham Hotspur starlet Dele Alli, according to his former manager Steve Davis. Powell joined United in 2012 as a 18-year-old with a reputation as one of England's brightest young midfield talents. While he was once tipped by Sir Alex Ferguson to go eventually replace Paul Scholes at Old Trafford, a string of injury problems have prevented him from making his mark at the club.
Now in the final six months of his United contract, Powell has joined Hull City on loan with hope of kick-starting his career. Davis, who oversaw the his introduction into the Crewe first-team where he helped the club get promoted to League One, firmly believes the midfielder still has time on his side. And while Powell is two years older than Alli, the Crewe boss believes he can still match the Tottenham midfielder's rise.
"I would put him in the same bracket as Dele Alli. I know he hasn't shown that yet because of the problems he has had with injuries, but if he gets the chance to showcase his talent then there is no reason why he cannot be as good as that," Davis said via Crewe's official website.
Powel has previously excelled in the Championship during a loan spell with Wigan Athletic during the 2013-14 season but injuries have curtailed his progress since. After 14 months out injured, he was bizarrely thrown off the bench by United boss Louis van Gaal in December 215 against Bournemouth before returning to the club's Under-21 ranks.
With Hull chasing promotion, Davis believes Powell is now in the perfect place to rediscover some momentum. "Nick needs to play. He has had a few injures and that has restricted his chances to showcase his talent at Manchester United. He hasn't had the opportunity to do that and I am pleased he managed to get a move on deadline day.
"He has joined a great club in Hull. They are at the top end of the Championship and it will be good for him to be involved in a push for promotion. It could be a master stroke by Steve (Bruce) because he is getting a very talented player. I just hope Nick proves us right because we always felt he would go on to play for England and make an impact at the top level."