This comes after Kendrick made an appearance on a recent episode of the Birmingham Mail’s Claret & Blue Podcast where he spoke about a number of topics concerning the Midlands club, including the defeat against Jurgen Klopp’s side.
On the subject of Davis and Smith’s decision to not bring him on as a substitute in the second half of the game at Anfield, Kendrick had this to say on the matter.
He said: “I just felt it was a bit strange – he’d done enough in that last 15 minutes against Fulham, not to necessarily start – I’m not saying he should have started – but I think he should have definitely been an option from the bench because he must have been buzzing.
“Dean Smith will have seen how he’s trained this week, but you imagine, Keinan Davis, having waited so long for an opportunity, and made the most of it last week must have been really kind of feeling strong and confident, so any kind of benefit they’d have had from that a week ago now is going to be lost by the time he plays the next game.
“[Villa were] crying out for him to come on when [Bertrand] Traore went off, to be honest, I think that was a missed opportunity, just to give Villa a little bit more energy up there because I think by that stage of the game, I think [John] McGinn was finding it difficult to give [Ollie] Watkins much support up there and I just think Keinan Davis would have been an option to give Liverpool something to think about.”
Since then, the 23-year-old, who is currently valued at £2.25 million, has gone on to make 79 appearances for Villa’s senior team, scoring five goals and providing seven assists along the way (per Transfermarkt).
TIF Thoughts on Mat Kendrick’s comments on Smith’s decision to sub Davis on against Liverpool…
Given how the striker managed to pick up an assist in Villa’s 3-1 win over Fulham after coming on as a substitute during the second half when they were chasing a result, as Kendrick mentioned in the podcast, it does seem odd, in our view, that Smith didn’t give Davis the opportunity to do the same thing again against Liverpool.
Having not been afforded a start in the Premier League this season, perhaps the weekend would have been a prime opportunity to reward Davis for his cameo against the Whites. In hindsight, with Bertrand Traore coming in for criticism, perhaps it was an oversight from Smith to overlook the striker for the game at Anfield.
Do you think Smith should have brought Davis on against Liverpool?
Moving forward, Davis will have to hope that he gets another opportunity to get some minutes on the pitch for Villa before the end of the season and that he makes a positive impact when he gets the chance to try and force his way into the team on a more permanent basis.