Aston Villa rose to the 15th spot on the table after their dominating win over Norwich City right before the international break. The Villans have had a stop-start kind of a season in terms of results, but their performances have been okay for most parts.
The club emerged as one of the highest spenders in the summer, and the pressure will be on the manager to deliver the goods. However, even with all the spending, they might be short on options up front. Wesley Moraes is currently the first-choice striker at the club. Jonathan Kodjia is a backup option, but he is now out with injuries.
Bent on Kodjia
Former Aston Villa and England striker Darren Bent believe that Smith should part ways with Kodjia. Speaking to Football Insider, he said, ”You could hand him a new deal but is he going to change lives in the Premier League for Aston Villa? You don’t know.”
“It’s a tough one; he’s not really set the world alight for Villa, I wouldn’t say he’s done that last season either. Maybe you part ways with him and maybe try and find someone else like a Dwight Gayle or someone like that.”
What should be Smith’s play?
We think that Bent is more or less spot on and Smith should look for an upgrade over Kodjia. However, they might want to keep hold of him if they drop down to the Championship by next season. But Villa wouldn’t surely be thinking of that, and they should be on the lookout for a striker to support Moraes.
Even last season, Kodjia was a backup to Tammy Abraham who fired the Villans to promotion. The 29-year-old is in the final year of his contract at Villa Park, and we don’t see him being offered a new deal until and unless he really sets the Premier League alight in the next few months.
As for Bent’s suggestion of going for Dwight Gayle, we think that the club can do better than that. The Englishman’s top performances have only come in the Championship before so we don’t believe that he would be a significant upgrade over Kodjia.
Villa should bring someone who would challenge Moraes for a first-team place. It remains to be seen now whether they will look to splash big money on a striker in January. If they don’t, then they must hope that Moraes could see out the season without any significant injury issues as the club lacks quality options beyond him.
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