DAVID BROOKS put the Premier League big guns on alert by revealing he wants to play at the very top.
Bournemouth ace Brooks beat international team-mate Gareth Bale to the Welsh Footballer of the Year gong.
The 21-year-old attacking midfielder also claimed the Young Player trophy following a fantastic season for club and country.
His form has caught the eyes of Tottenham and Arsenal with a £40million summer move already being mooted — nine months after Eddie Howe bought him for £11m.
Brooks insists he is happy where he is and signed a contract extension earlier this month, tieing him to the Cherries until summer 2022.
But he is a man on a mission to play on the big stage as Bale has done with Spurs and Real Madrid.
He said: “I want to play at the highest level possible — whether that is abroad or in England. I don’t know what the future holds for myself.
“Obviously the aim is to get up there and whatever opportunities come, I will have to make the decisions then.
“I am not really expecting it and the reason I signed the contract is I am happy at Bournemouth and the way my progression is going.
“I want that to continue and for the focus not to be on anything else. That is why I signed and I am very happy at Bournemouth.”
I want to play at the highest level possible — whether that is abroad or in England. I don’t know what the future holds for myself.
Warrington-born Brooks started his career in Manchester City’s academy before a switch to Sheffield United aided his development.
But the playmaker says England whizkid Jadon Sancho — also a City academy graduate — is an inspiration for young players trying to make the breakthrough.
Brooks added: “Just as I was getting released by City they started investing more in the academy.
“It is obviously a very challenging pathway for any young player to make it there when they are challenging and can go out and buy anyone they want in the world.
“I think Sancho’s path he has taken going to Borussia Dortmund is quite inspiring for any young players who want to go and do it.
“If you don’t make it at one place, it doesn’t mean you are not going to make it at another place.
“Obviously the impact he has made and getting into the England team is a massive achievement.”
Sancho’s an inspiration
Brooks has won rave reviews since he arrived in the Premier League in August, scoring six goals in 25 games, and he is expected to be on the shortlist for the PFA Young Player of the Year.
But that form has made him a marked man. Brooks added: “I like a nutmeg but opposition players haven’t really said anything — apart from the obvious ‘do that again I will snap you!’
“But I’m not naming names. As a forward player you are always going to get kicks off defenders and I don’t think I’m any different.
“You back yourself to do well but to make the impact I have so quickly? I wouldn’t have guessed I was going to do that.”
Brooks in Prem this season
Games – 25
Goals – 6
Assists – 4
Win rate – 44%
Brooks — whose dad Ian is English but qualifies for Wales because his mum Cathryn is from Llangollen in North Wales — is ready for Wales’ opening Euro 2020 qualifier against Slovakia tomorrow.
He got a whack on an ankle from Newcastle’s Mo Diame in Bournemouth’s 2-2 draw with Newcastle last weekend.
Ryan Giggs kept him out of Wednesday’s international friendly against Trinidad & Tobago — and Brooks revealed he is happy to do whatever his boyhood idol says. He added: “He is a hero of mine. He has a nice left foot and has played at the highest level so you have to look up to him.
“Whatever advice he gives I am going to take on board.”
Wales are hoping to repeat their 2016 Euro campaign when they reached the semi-finals.
Brooks added: “There are boys in the squad like me who have come in since the last Euros and want a taste of that.
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“And then there are also the boys who have been there and done that — and want to get there again.
“It is a nice mix and hopefully we can get there.
“The word pressure gets thrown about but I don’t see it as pressure. I go out to do my best, to score goals and create goals and it will be no different.”