WHICHEVER country David Brooks opted to represent, he seemed destined to make a lasting impression.

The attacking midfielder shot back into the limelight on the international stage at the weekend, coming off the bench to net his first senior goal for Wales as they slipped to a narrow 2-1 defeat at World Cup runners-up Croatia.

That goal came almost two years to the day since Brooks netted in the final of the Toulon Tournament for England under-20s on their way to a penalty shoot-out victory over Ivory Coast.

But just four months after Brooks, who was voted as player of the tournament, had lifted the trophy in Aubagne, he was representing the Wales senior side under Chris Coleman having pledged his allegiance to the Dragons.

Brooks, still only 21, was born in Warrington but said the decision to represent the country of his mother, who is from Llangollen, was “easy”.

In March, on the back of penning a new Cherries contract, Brooks was crowned Wales player and young player of the year, becoming the first man to win both trophies in the same season.

He was then nominated for the PFA young player of the year gong following a stellar first campaign with Cherries where he netted five goals and provided seven assists in 30 Premier League appearances.

Current Wales boss Ryan Giggs said it would have been a “disaster” for his nation had Brooks opted to represent England, with the Cherries man now taking his Wales caps tally to 12 during Tuesday’s defeat in Hungary.

When Brooks was first called into Coleman’s squad back in 2017, Southgate at the time joked that it was “unusual for Wales to call a young player up and give him a cap” as he bemoaned the lacked of English options in the top flight.

And given the impact Brooks has had since his £10million move to Cherries from Sheffield United last summer, he could have no doubt also slotted nicely into Southgate’s Three Lions side.

Promoting the youth has been a big part of Southgate’s remit with the likes of Raheem Sterling, Jadon Sancho, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Declan Rice, Ben Chilwell, Marcus Rashford and Trent Alexander-Arnold all blossoming in the past two years with England going on to reach a World Cup semi-final and finish third in the UEFA Nations League on Sunday.

But there is plenty of burgeoning talent across the border too with Giggs also not afraid to give younger players an opportunity. As well as Brooks, Cherries team-mate Chris Mepham has been a regular part of the squad in 2019, while Connor Roberts, Harry Wilson, Matt Smith and Dan James have all been preferred to more experienced options in recent Euro 2020 qualifiers.

And Brooks’ decision could prove to be an inspired choice as he learns under a childhood hero in Giggs.

Discussing the prospect of working under the former Wales winger, Brooks said: “I’m a big Man Utd fan and watching Giggs growing up he was a fantastic player and he’s near enough won every trophy under the sun.

“If he’s got any advice for me, I’ll be glad to take it on board.”

Judging by Brooks’ performances for both club and country in the past few months, it seems Giggs may well be having an effect.