With all the focus on the exciting, big-money additions at Aston Villa, the departure of young Harry McKirdy went slightly under the radar.
However, with Villa reinforcing their attack with Egypt international Trezeguet, former Ajax star Anwar El Ghazi and £22 million Brazilian striker Wesley Moraes, few realistically expected the seldom-seen academy graduate to be a key part of Dean Smith’s Premier League plans.
While it is far too soon to suggest that the London-born forward should have been handed a top-flight chance in claret and blue, McKirdy is certainly doing his best to show Villa what they are missing.
The former Stoke City forward failed to make a single league appearance in eight years at the Midland giants but he is making up for lost time at Carlisle United.
McKirdy scored on his Carlisle debut against Crawley Town in League Two but he left arguably the best performance of his young career for a Carabao Cup clash away at Barnsley. The 22-year-old was simply unstoppable, inspiring the League Two outfit to a 3-0 win against their Championship opponents with an electric display on the left.
The Gareth Bale of Cumbria not only scored the opener, he also won a penalty in the second half with a typically irresistible run into the box. It has taken just three games, but McKirdy is already a bona fide fan favourite in Carlisle.
Can you sign a 10 year deal please— Rhys Jenkins (@rhyswjenkins1) August 14, 2019
Harry McKirdy is my new favourite player. Ponty on strings.— CW. (@afcCRMW) August 13, 2019
Harry McKirdy is some player. Looks a proper coup for us. Thoroughly looking forward to his remaining stint at BP before he signs his three-year deal at Preston North End for an undisclosed fee #cufc— Matthew Hill (@NicoHillkenberg) August 13, 2019
Won't be long before teams start looking at mckirdy 2 goals and 2 assists in 3 games,— Craig Barron (@cufccraig1983) August 14, 2019
Best winger in the league— Ossie (@DavidOsborne__) August 13, 2019
Incredible tonight— Morgan (@Morgan1897__) August 13, 2019
Nathan Thomas and Harry McKirdy are the best 2 wingers in League 2 pass it on— owen (@owencufc) August 14, 2019
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