This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Birmingham Live reporter Ashley Preece has given his review on Jonathan Kodjia after the 30-year-old made a comeback from injury for Aston Villa’s U23 squad on Monday evening.
What’s he said?
Kodjia has been out of action since a freak training ground incident involving summer arrival Marvelous Nakamba as the pair clashed heads, resulting in the Ivory Coast international fracturing his cheekbone.
For several weeks now, manager Dean Smith has only had two fit options in the striking department with club-record signing Wesley being preferred over the youthful Keinan Davis – he’s rather lucky that neither has picked up an injury of their own.
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The U23s defeated Fulham 1-0 in the Premier League 2 tie, but it was Kodjia’s replacement, Indiana Vassilev, that scored the winning goal after glancing a header home just minutes after coming on.
Preece graded those that featured and provided his thoughts on their performances with Kodjia coming in for the lowest rating, he said:
“Huffed and puffed as Villa’s lone striker. Was in his fitted mask after breaking his cheekbone a couple of weeks ago during training.
“Needs to work on his match sharpness, had a few loose touches of the football and will need to be more immaculate.
“Looked sluggish in front of watching Dean Smith and replaced on 79 minutes before heading straight down the tunnel.
“It wasn’t good, in truth. 5.“
Much of the talk during the 30-year-old’s absence has been about his future at the club.
At one stage he was subject to a bid from Qatar, but Smith rejected it due to the lack of options available at his disposal while other reports suggest that he will be let go in January so they can gain some sort of fee for him.
It certainly coincides with the apparent £20m war chest made available to sign a striker in the next transfer window too.
Based on this performance, Kodjia is going to struggle to make his mark in the side especially as Wesley has started to find his feet with four goals in seven matches, per WhoScored.
It feels like the £6.3m-rated forward is only still at the club in case an injury crisis strikes down in the west Midlands.
Some supporters clearly aren’t best pleased with his latest showing either…
Kodjia looked of the pace tbh and Chester looked pretty good
— Aden (@Lynchy1x) October 21, 2019
Tells you a lot about Kodjia!
— theresalifeoutthere (@1982rotterdam) October 21, 2019
Very very poor
— Max Stokes (@villaontour_) October 21, 2019