Powell's final fling as 4m United target aims to sign off Crewe Alexandra career in style
21:30 GMT, 25 May 2012
On the move: Powell is set to play his last game
All eyes will be on Nicky Powell at Wembley on Sunday as the Crewe Alexendra youngster attempts to sign off his career at Gresty Road by firing the Railwaymen into League One.
The England youth international is set for a move to the Premier League – possibly as early as next week to Manchester United in a 4m deal – after playing a starring role during Alex's 18-match unbeaten run to the play-off final.
Fourteen goals this season has led to the 18-year-old being acclaimed as the best ever from the club's production line and another eye-catching performance against Cheltenham should be enough to see the bids flooding.
Crewe's financial position means warding off any unwanted interest will be impossible and skipper David Artell gave a glowing reference ahead of what might be the teenager's last game for the club.
Head boy: Powell is being targeted by Manchester United
'He's the best player I have ever played with,' said Artell. 'He can go right to the very top and all of these Premier League teams are fully justified in watching him.
'We are not a one-man team but there have been games this season he has done things which are out of this world.'
Alex boss Steve Davis added: 'Every Tom, Dick and Harry from the Championship and Premier League has watched him this season.
How they line up
Cheltenham Town (4-4-2): Brown; Elliott, Garbutt, Bennett, Jombati; Summerfield, Pack, McGlashan, Mohamed; Burgess, Spencer.
Crewe Alexandra (4-4-2): Phillips; Tootle, Davis, Artell, Dugdale; Murphy, Westwood, Mellor, Moore; Leitch-Smith, Powell.
Referee: Craig Pawson
'But nothing is solid. Nothing will happen until after the final. We will know more next week.'
Cheltenham Town manager Mark Yates, who won the Leyland Daf Trophy at Wembley as a player with Birmingham City in 1991, has adopted a different approach.
'We took the boys to Wembley in midweek,' he said.
'The players saw how vast and impressive it was and the quality of it all.
'But we have done the tourist thing. I even had a camera around my neck at one stage. When we do turn up there, it will be work-time. All the sight-seeing is out of the way.'
And as for Powell, he added: 'Crewe have some good players, or they wouldn't be in this position. But then, so do we.'