Dr Tony Xia has become my go to ITK. Forget Agent Dave or Midlands Football Agent, our owner is everything every ‘in the know’ wants to be and isn’t.
Yesterday, Xia tweeted: “We’re working very hard 2have a world class 9#striker. Very close to the new fullback. Hope both will happen next week! Enjoy weekend! #UTV”
The phrase ‘world class’ is often overused and has become a huge cliche in modern football. The literal interpretation of ‘among the best in the world’ needs to be taken with a pinch of salt in this case. Nevertheless, Xia’s tweet has set the Villa fans off, leaving them trying to work out if Dimitar Berbatov or Karim Benzema is about to turn up at Villa Park.
Obviously, fans are not being serious when they talk about Xia bringing in Karim Benzema so who was Xia referring to when he mentioned a ‘world class’ number nine?
We have been linked with numerous strikers already this summer so I thought I would weigh up the options, including some out of the box and unrealistic suggestions some have come up with.
Abel Hernández – Hull City
The Uruguayan forward is said to be unhappy at Hull City with the club versus the fans situation and the lack of transfer activity causing issues on Humberside.
Various reports have come out in the past month linking us with the forward, who found the net nineteen times last season, most recently from Fichajes where the writer states the Villans are set to make a move for Hernandez in the coming days.
He would add the extra bite needed in the attack that could well lead us to promotion. Hernández would offer us a new dimension and the pace we require up front, with Rudy Gestede often looking like he is running in treacle.
It would be a fantastic coup to get Abel Hernández and a move for him certainly seems to be on the cards at the moment.
Patrick Bamford – Chelsea
Bamford is a man who has had mixed fortunes but he has proven pedigree at this level of the English game.
Bamford spent last season out on loan in the Premier League at Crystal Palace and Norwich City, where he failed to hit his dizzy Championship heights.
His attitude, among other things, often came into question, but his last spell in England’s second division went quite well as he scored seventeen times in thirty-nine games for Middlesbrough.
If Bamford were to move to Villa Park it would probably be on a season long loan, although some reporters have said that we could look to make the move permanent the following summer.
This is an interesting one.
Nakhi Wells – Huddersfield Town
Aston Villa’s former nemesis, Nakhi Wells has developed his game considerably since his days at Bradford City when he bagged goals to send the Villans out of the League Cup at the semi-final stage.
Wells has become a lethal force in the Championship and scored seventeen times last season for the Terriers. A move could well be on the cards with Lawrence Trott of The Royal Gazette recently reporting strong claret and blue interest in Wells.
Wells is another player who would add pace to our forward line as well as an eye for goal in this division.
Yacine Bammou – Nantes
Bammou was linked to Aston Villa earlier in the summer when there were claims at home and in France that Aston Villa and Leeds United both had an interest in him.
He isn’t rated at all by Nantes fans and I cannot see Dr Tony Xia letting the Villans go down the French route again so soon after the failures of last season.
My wild card – Dominic Solanke
Another player in the Chelsea ranks who needs senior game time in England, Solanke spent last season out on loan at Vitesse.
Although he could be a more attractive option than Patrick Bamford in some regards, he is hardly a ‘world class’ striker.
Unrealistic names being mentioned:
Emmanual Adebayor – After the ongoing saga with Adebayor last summer, his name was bound to be mentioned again.
Jonathon Kodjia – The Bristol City owner has said that Kodjia will be going nowhere this summer unless a Premier League side offers more than £10 million for him. He catergorically stated that he would not sell Kodjia to a Championship rival.
Mario Balotelli – He was linked with Wolverhampton Wanderers a few weeks ago. Xia liked a tweet suggesting the new number none would not be Balotelli.
Rickie Lambert – The thirty-four-year-old’s name was mentioned in connection with Aston Villa a few months ago but he would make the Championship’s slowest attacking force even slower.
Dr Tony Xia could be left with egg on his face given his reference to the new striker being ‘world class’. Perhaps he meant a player who is too good to be playing in England’s second tier or an international striker rather than an actual world beater.
I personally believe Abel Hernandez could be the number nine we are tracking. He is the sort of player Roberto Di Matteo and Dr Tony Xia have been after this summer. Only time will tell who this ‘world class’ striker is. I just hope people don’t go calling for Xia’s head if the new arrival doesn’t match their fantasy football suggestions.