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Former Aston Villa striker Harvey Knibbs tipped to bring power to Cambridge United strikeforce

New Cambridge United striker Harvey Knibbs (11783439)
New Cambridge United striker Harvey Knibbs (11783439)

Colin Calderwood has tipped Harvey Knibbs to become a “powerful striker” for Cambridge United.

The 20-year-old signed a two-year deal with the U’s last week, having been released by Aston Villa at the end of the season.

United head coach Calderwood is familiar with the player from his time as assistant at Villa Park, with Knibbs having spent seven years in the youth ranks at the club. He was initially at Nottingham Forest as a youngster.

“I feel Harvey has the attributes of a modern forward, which will help him really progress to get opportunities in league football,” said Calderwood.

“Physically, he can become a real powerful striker, who has good linking abilities, and showed calm finishing skills at Villa where I first worked with him.”

Knibbs had trained with the U’s on trial at the end of the 2018/19 campaign, and has signed a contract to the end of the 2020/21 season.

“I’m really pleased to have signed and I can’t wait to get going,” said Knibbs.

“I’ve had the chance to meet all of the lads already, who really welcomed me in and I was very impressed with the standard of training.

“Obviously Colin (Calderwood) being here played a massive role in my decision. During my time at Villa he really helped me and this provides a great chance to work him again that I really didn’t want to turn down.

“I also spoke with Rushian (Hepburn-Murphy) and Jake (Doyle-Hayes) and they both really enjoyed their time here last season, so I knew the club was a good place to come to.

“I’ve had a really good education at both Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa and I feel like it’s prepared me for going into men’s football now with Cambridge United.”

Knibbs is the U’s second signing of the summer, following midfielder Luke Hannant.

Ben Strang, the U’s head of football, added: “Harvey is certainly a player with potential. When Alex Fraser flagged his availability as a free agent towards the end of last season, we took very little time in bringing him in to train with the squad.

“As with all young players he still has work to do in his all-round game, but he displayed an ability of scoring goals with us. We are fully aware that we need to add forward options to the squad this summer, and we’re pleased that Harvey is the first addition in the area.”

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