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LUKE Young has warned Villa that their reported £12million transfer target Kenwyne Jones could single-handedly jolt their top-four hopes.

The Trinidad and Tobago international has rattled in six Premier League goals in 12 games since his return from injury at the end of October.

Young is well aware of Jones’ pedigree and knows Villa will have to be on their guard at Sunderland this weekend.

Jones’ brace buried Albion last month and he has scored in back-to-back games against Bolton and Middlesbrough where he rescued a late point in Saturday’s derby at The Riverside.

Young has painful memories of Boro’s 3-2 defeat at Sunderland in April. He said: “He single-handedly won the game for them.

“Our two centre-halves [David Wheater and Emanuel Pogatetz] would be the first to admit they had a real tough game against him. He was on top form that day. He can be a proper handful when he plays like that.”

Young is not getting involved as to whether Jones would be a good acquisition for Villa.

“It’s not my job to be talking about players that might come to our club but he is a great forward.”

Young admits, nevertheless, that Martin O’Neill will be looking to bring in at least one striker in the window. Blackburn’s Roque Santa Cruz could yet come back on to O’Neill’s radar as he is believed to fancy a move to Villa over Manchester City.

But such a move would depend on Villa wanting to smash their transfer record by some distance. “I am not sure whether the manager will want to bring in loads of people,” Young said.

“He will know that we have put ourselves in a great position but do we really go for it and get those world class players and spend the money now?

“Or does he not want to rock the boat because things are going alright?

“That debate is probably going on in the manager’s head at the moment.

“We have got people playing out of position but people like Nigel Reo-Coker are looking like they have played there a long time.

“It’s a difficult question and one that is out of my hands.

“But I’d have thought we would definitely bring in a striker because we are a little bit light up front.”