Aston Villa’s 3-0 loss away to current champions Manchester City wasn’t a huge shock but it brought up several talking points.
VAR once again claimed the majority of the headlines and a worrying potential injury for Jack Grealish was the focus of many reporters.
However, the biggest debate amongst the Villa faithful was the performance of Brazilian forward, Wesley.
Wesley’s summer arrival from Club Brugge seemed to happen quite quickly and was a bit of a bolt from the blue.
It was a decisive and obviously planned decision from Dean Smith and his recruitment team despite it being seen as a gamble with his history and goal record of less than 1 in 3 in the Belgian Jupiler League.
Preseason looked promising and the 22 year old has gone on to score 4 goals in 9 games.
Not bad when you consider the return from the likes of Joelinton (Newcastle United) and Nicolas Pepe (Arsenal) who both cost their respective clubs substantially more money.
The issue has been more around Wesley’s effort and desire to win the ball and scrap for possession as well as making key runs consistently.
Villa were spoilt in the Championship with the effort of Tammy Abraham who has since gone on to show his capabilities for Frank Lampard’s Chelsea.
Whilst Wesley inevitably needs to be given time, lack of perceived effort and desire will be quickly pointed out by a Villa faithful who demand 110% from their players going above and beyond to wear the claret and blue.
The debate has raged on this weekend and has led to the continued question of why another striker wasn’t brought in and how the January transfer window will surely see a new striker at Villa Park.
Aside from Wesley, Villa have youngster Keinan Davis with very little experience and Ivory Coast international, Jonathan Kodjia who came on as a substitute in Villa’s opening day fixture at Tottenham and has since faced further injuries whilst being closely linked to Turkish outfit, Besiktas.
There is an obvious shortage and I fully expect Dean Smith to prioritise addressing the issue.
The question is who?
There are many reports that Rangers’ Colombian forward, Alfredo Morelos is being sounded out and he would certainly be an interesting choice.
Since joining Rangers, Morelos has scored 63 times with 24 assists in 11 games.
This season alone he has 15 goals in 20 games in all competitions.
He is a fiery character with 3 red cards and has a reputation for winding up opposition players.
At 23, he fits the profile for Villa in that he is young, pacy and he puts a shift in on the pitch.
Away from the Morelos link and a quick glance at players who will be free agents at the end of the season throws up some interesting names.
As this season is about safety and maintaining Premier League status in order to build upon the excellent work done on and off the pitch, additions are vital and older strikers shouldn’t be discounted within the remit.
A look to players coming to the end of their contracts in 2020 throws up some interesting names. The question for many is does their age mean they are past it or just looking for one last pay day. Or do they genuinely have something to offer in the Premier League.
Obviously this isn’t me saying all of these would join but it highlights the type of players available with experience of top flight football across Europe.
Edinson Cavani (32) PSG
Dries Mertens (32) Napoli
Pedro (32) Chelsea
Josip Ilicic (31) Atalanta
Artem Dzyuba (32) Zenit
Olivier Giroud (33) Chelsea
Jarrod Bowen (22) Hull City
I highlighted these as Premier League football is obviously a big draw and some of these may be expensive for their age other than Jarrod Bowen.
But does a short term option that scores goals pay off when it could secure Premier League status and allow us to build next season?
Jarrod Bowen who can play as a support striker but tends to be more of a winger would be an excellent addition for me and has consistently shown his ability in a struggling Hull side.
He’s been tipped and linked to both ourselves and Premier League sides in the past and is surely looking to make the step up.
Who would you like to see at Villa Park come January within reason of course.
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