“Can he play any real role in the rest of the season? I still doubt it” – Steve Bruce on Jonathan Kodjia
Next Monday, Jonathan Kodjia will return to training after recovering from the injury he picked up while away with the Ivory Coast, an international duty there are question marks over whether he should have been at in the first place.
“He can resume training on Monday, having done all his other light work back in France” Steve Bruce told reporters at the pre-Wolves press conference.
While it’s good to see the striker overcome his latest adversity, it seems to be too little too late in terms of the player having any impact on this season.
“Can he play any real role in the rest of the season? I still doubt it,” reasoned Bruce.
“But we’ll see how he is in the next week – we’ve only got six to go.”
The player himself told a fan he was about three weeks away from being fit enough to play, which is a fair estimate.
There is slightly more than the six weeks that Bruce said there is left in the season, it”s eight weeks including the international break (lets not make the same mistake and send Kodjia away on this one!), but barring an injury crisis up front, would Kodjia have a chance?
As MOMS has ventured on several occasions, were Villa and Bristol City ultimately hindered in their forward play by being completely reliant on Kodjia? He scored 19 goals in a season for both teams, yet they both finished in the lower half of the Championship.
Since, he left Bristol and also has been missing at Villa, both teams have had much more success this season without him. It’s a fact.
In Lewis Grabban, Villa have a striker who has scored 15 goals already this season (12 for Sunderland) and should reach, if not surpass Kodjia’s total of 19 last season. So Kodjia is statistically matched and also, it could be argued, bettered when it comes to the contribution to the team.
Hogan too has started to contribute and has avoided injury, so far this year.
While Keinan Davis has perhaps been unfairly overlooked in recent games, when you look at how the team has improved from losing positions against Preston and Sheffield Wednesday, when he came on as a sub.
It will be interesting to see against Wolves, if Bruce goes with one upfront and if that man is Grabban.
MOMS can see Kodjia being a potential impact sub from the bench in the final games, if Villa remain injury free.
If Villa’s season extends into the play-offs and the team is in need of a fresh impetus, then Kodjia’s belated return to fitness may have actually come at the perfect time.
Glenn Whelan, Axel Tuanzebe and Alan Hutton will also miss the Wolves game.