Jonathan Kodjia has joined the club from Bristol City for an initial fee of £11 million, which could rise to a Championship record sum of £15 million. Now the dust has settled and the international break has arrived, it might be time to try to evaluate whether we overpaid for the Ivory Coast international.
£15 million is a high price to pay for a player who hasn’t played in the top tier of English football. He is a proven goal-scorer in the Championship, however, and is an immediate answer to our problems. Put him alongside Ross McCormack and Rudy Gestede and we have three players who are used to scoring goals in this division. His big price tag will also bring big expectations with it so there will be pressure on him to keep up the same goal-scoring record that he enjoyed as a Bristol City player.
A lot of Villa fans, and football fans generally, have called the price paid ‘ridiculous’ following the transfer. It is steep, I agree, but I feel that Kodjia’s price reflects the current market that clubs find themselves in. Pogba to United, £30 million for Moussa Sissokho and countless other transfers have shown us how frequently clubs pay over the odds for players. The price tag didn’t surprise me. On the other hand, I could understand why I saw so many Bristol City fans who were pleased with the hefty sum coming their club’s way.
The most important factor in all of this is that we now have the money to throw around. Dr Tony Xia’s arrival and last season’s pay packet from the Premier League mean that we have licence to overpay for players. If the owner is willing to spend the money, which he has proven he is over the course of the summer, then as fans we should just celebrate the new arrivals. We have brought in nine players, have a new look squad and have two new forwards who love scoring goals in the Championship in Kodjia and McCormack. We should be happy and not obsess over pricing.
Maybe Dr Tony Xia was a little optimistic when he promised us a ‘world class’ number nine, a statement which sent a lot of fans’ heads’ spinning, but Kodjia knows where the goal is. He is the kind of player that we simply did not have last season. I’m very much looking forward to seeing him in action and for him to start paying off the money that we have spent bringing him here.