The return of league football to Villa Park tomorrow is long awaited after another frustrating international break so early in the season and the transfer window closing. Despite the rumours of a possible new striker close to the window slamming shut, Aston Villa decided to stick rather than twist and some welcome news today feels like we have two new signings after all. Jonathan Kodjia and Mile Jedinak are almost back.
Steve Bruce today revealed to reporters at the pre match conference ahead of tomorrow’s game against Brentford that forward Jonathan Kodjia is finally set to return to the fold after suffering a broken ankle away at Blackburn in the penultimate fixture of last season.
The Ivorian was a stand out performer for Bruce finishing comfortably as Villa’s top scorer last season with 19 goals in 36 appearances. Often winning man of the match and scoring some spectacular goals, Kodjia fast became a fans favourite and he glossed over a rather disappointing season.
The news of his impending return will give everyone a lift as arguably one of the best strikers in the league will offer us a much greater threat.
As if the recovery of Jonathan Kodjia wasn’t enough, it also appears that the bearded wonder, Mile Jedinak is even closer to gracing the turf in B6 once again.
The Australian showed exactly why Crystal Palace fans were disappointed to see him leave with battling, determined performances week after week.
Sitting just in front of the central defenders, Jedinak has shown a fighting spirit which we have lacked in years gone by, throwing his body on the line and winning headers against anyone thrown against him.
It’s a well known fact that Villa failed to win a league game last season without him in the starting line up which speaks volumes. Bruce’s poor form mid season also coincided with Jedinak being out through injury.
Therefore Villa fans should be encouraged and look forward with confidence over the coming weeks.
A mixed start to the season, ultimately swaying towards a disappointing one has been held together by some stand out performances from some of the younger players and the likes of Conor Hourihane.
Jedinak will bring more confidence and cover to a defence that has leaked more goals than any of us would have expected and he will hopefully allow for players such as Hourihane to have more freedom going forwards. The question will be more as to whether Steve Bruce will set up for this tactically.
As for Kodjia, his goals, skills and awkwardness for defenders will undoubtedly help in Villa finding the net more often and consistently.
Here’s to hopefully seeing three points tomorrow, a safe and welcomed return of two key players we haven’t seen since before the summer and a steady climb up the table over the coming months.