Why Aston Villa move ideal for 22-year-old once billed as Paul Scholes' heir

General view of Paper planes on the pitch thrown by Aston Villa fans in protest

Nick Powell is without a club after leaving Manchester United.

Nick Powell (L) scores the fourth goal for Manchester UnitedNick Powell showed initial promise but ultimately struggled at Manchester United

According to HITC Sport sources, Aston Villa are one of several clubs chasing freed Manchester United midfielder Nick Powell.

Four years of gradual decline proceeded Powell's 2012 switch to Old Trafford, which set the Red Devils back a reported £4 million (Daily Mail) and left them believing they'd found Paul Scholes' natural successor.

After nine games, one goal and three predominantly unsuccessful loan spells, the 22-year-old is currently without a club.

Hull, where Powell spent the back end of last season, could offer him a quick route back to the Premier League, while Championship sides Norwich, Leeds, Nottingham Forest and Wigan, another of his once-temporary employers, are also circling along with the Villans.

Hull City's Nick Powell in action with Sheffield Wednesday’s Fernando Forestieri and Alex LopezPowell playing for Hull last season

As a boyhood Villa fan, the latter option will naturally appeal to the former Crewe Alexandra starlet.

What better motivation than the prospect of leading his beloved club back to the promised land? Not to mention the guidance of Roberto Di Matteo, once one of the finest in Powell's position and who coaxed 18 goals out of another reported midfield target Graham Dorrans (HITC) at West Bromwich Albion, throughout 2009-10.

Norwich's Graham Dorrans in actionNorwich man Dorrans is another reported Villa target

Throw into the mix the presence of Ashley Westwood, Powell's central midfield anchor during the campaign in which he rose prominence at Crewe, and you've enough reason to take gamble - especially on a free transfer.

Nick Powell (C) celebrates scoring the first goal for CrewePowell played with Villa's Westwood (not pictured) at Crewe

It could be one of the steals of the summer.

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