AFC Bournemouth and Wales international David Brooks was back with a bang for the Cherries against Birmingham City at the weekend.
Completing his first 90 minutes in 19 months, the 23-year-old was rewarded with a brace, his first double salvo since beating Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League back in December 2018.
So much has happened since that point in time, the Cherries went on to beat 4-0 at Dean Court in January 2019 with Brooks again on the scoresheet, AFC Bournemouth beat Brighton again with Brooks on the scoresheet, this time winning 5-0 in April 2019, but then injury struck.
AFC Bournemouth ended the season 14th, 11 points clear of safety and Brooks ended up in surgery, twice.
By the time he returned to the pitch in an AFC Bournemouth shirt, a global pandemic had suspended football for three months and the Cherries were in deep relegation problems.
He made 9 appearances, including 8 starts, but featured for just 513 minutes as AFC Bournemouth were relegated.
During the summer, despite a season of injuries, Brooks was linked with a move away from Dean Court. Premier League champions Liverpool were reportedly interested, with other clubs such as Manchester United, Leeds United, Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United, West Ham United, Leicester City and Crystal Palace also said to be keen.
But Brooks remained on the south coast and could yet prove to be the difference if AFC Bournemouth can mount a promotion challenge this season.
Could Brooks prove crucial?
— Sky Bet Championship (@SkyBetChamp) November 8, 2020
Following the victory over Birmingham City, AFC Bournemouth manager Jason Tindall said, as quoted by the Daily Echo…
“I’m really pleased with Brooksy, It was one where I had to hold him back because Brooksy was itching to be involved and itching to play. But I felt it was a little bit too soon for him and he needed a lot more work behind him to give him the platform to go out there and deliver good performances.
“I certainly felt we saw the benefit of that on Saturday, for him to go and play 90 minutes, I think the first 90 minutes in over a year, and to deliver the performance he delivered.”
Also speaking to the Daily Echo, Brooks said…
“Two goals is always nice, to get off the mark for the season. Hopefully it can continue.
“Obviously, I’ve had a bit of a stop-start season due to illness and just little niggles.
“I’m repaying for keeping the faith in me and thankfully I scored two goals.”
Brooks when fit is clever and talented enough to play wherever across midfield and attack. Ideally, you’d want him in a 10 role just behind a forward or two, but he’ll add something anywhere. – Join the conversation, click here.