According to Daily Star, Aston Villa are ready to make a late move to sign a new striker as we head into the final phase of the January transfer window. They have identified two targets in Christian Benteke of Crystal Palace and Islam Slimani of Leicester City, currently on loan at AS Monaco. In this article, we will discuss as to who could be a better fit at Villa Park.
Benteke has been at Crystal Palace since 2016 when he joined the club for a fee of €31 million. But, the Eagles haven’t really been able to reap the benefits of the Belgian forward, even though he scored 15 goals in his debut campaign.
In the past few seasons, in particular, Benteke has faced a host of injury problems, notably struggling with an ACL problem while a knee injury in September 2018 kept him out for almost five months. As a result, the 29-year-old has barely played regular football in the past couple of seasons.
Indeed, Benteke has featured in a combined total of just over 1200 minutes of league football since the start of the 2018/19 campaign, during which he has scored only one goal. And this raises question marks over his fitness and whether or not he will be able to return to his former self. Hence, the Belgian international could be a signing that can reap mixed results.
While Benteke has struggled with a lack of game-time and injuries, Slimani has been able to redeem his credentials at AS Monaco, after initially spending a couple of disastrous seasons in the Premier League.
The Algerian, since joining from Leicester on loan in the summer, has netted seven goals and mustered seven assists in just 13 Ligue 1 matches so far. He has shown a lot of promise in France and might be ready to return to England this year. Slimani’s work ethic, coupled with his ability to sense a scoring opportunity makes him an ideal fit for Aston Villa.
While Benteke can provide the physical presence in the final third, Slimani’s willingness to link-up with teammates and open up spaces could help the likes of Jota and Trezeguet become more productive in front of goal. Therefore, he could be an ideal back-up for the injured Wesley.
But, at the same time, Aston Villa are destined to face competition in their pursuit of Slimani, especially with Manchester United reportedly keen on securing his services. Hence, it will be interesting to see how this transfer saga pans out by the end of the transfer window.
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