The need for a new striker at Villa has been apparent since August. The void left by Christian Benteke has never truly been filled. Rudy Gestede and Jordan Ayew were both brought in but only one of those players has delivered.
Jordan Ayew struggled at the start of the season, but that was predictable since he moved from Lorient in Ligue 1. Rudy Gestede found the net on his debut and the Villa faithful thought that maybe the summer signing from Blackburn Rovers could be our answer to losing Christian Benteke.
Gestede has shown me nothing to suggest that he is a Premier League striker. His movement is slow and limited to a small part of the pitch. A modern day forward should not be so limited, especially in the toughest league in world football. The Wycombe Wanderers game proved how poor he is.
The Villans have scored sixteen goals all campaign, with our Benin international scoring three of those goals. That simply is not enough to keep us in the Premier League. Gestede didn’t cut the mustard at Cardiff City in the Premier League; why did anyone think he could be a success at Aston Villa?
Relegation seems to a be a certainty already for Aston Villa Football Club. The need for a striker is paramount whether we are relegated or not. We need a man we can invest in and rely upon even after this tortuous campaign ends.
There are many strikers out there who could tick the above boxes and a man who has an ingrained work ethic often goes just as far a man with natural skill.
I believe that Jordan Ayew will remain at Villa Park, whatever division we are in next season. He is the perfect player to have playing off a target man.
Attractive football is all well and good. In Villa’s position it isn’t needed. Getting results and grinding out wins is more important than style.
There are many strikers’ names being bandied about and, for once, they’re all realistic targets. We need to be looking at Andre Gray, Jordan Rhodes, Charlie Austin and Tom Bradshaw. Loïc Rémy has been talked about but it is looking increasingly unlikely that the Villans will be able to get hold of him this month.
I believe we have to look at Football League players because, at present, joining Aston Villa is not a particularly attractive proposition. No striker from Ligue 1 who is scoring plenty of goals will want to join Aston Villa. Experience is key in a relegation battle and in the Championship, which, given the lack of fight, is where we are headed.
It is disappointing that we cannot attract Europe’s hottest talents. Six years ago we were pushing for a place in the Champions League and players wanted to be part of our historic club.
The club’s fall from grace has been anything but graceful and it is summed up with players like Charles N’Zogbia on our wage bill.
I can virtually guarantee that Gestede will not do enough to keep us in the Premier League. We cannot rely on Jordan Ayew. We have to go out and buy a hard-working striker who can score goals.
Fans must accept that joining Aston Villa Football Club may only be an attractive option to Championship players. We still have a huge fan base and a rich history. Joining a club on the brink of relegation is always a risk. Nevertheless, the chance to be part of the rebuilding process needed at Aston Villa could be a highly rewarding experience.