Future England star Joshua Onomah signed for Aston Villa on loan on the 4th of August 2017 but has made more substitute appearances than starts since his arrival. Should the midfield on loan from Tottenham be starting more though?
Onomah has started 5 times for Aston Villa in the Championship this season but is a regular on the substitutes bench coming off it 6 times in the league.
When Onomah plays, he can easily be one of the best players on the pitch, which you would expect from a Tottenham youngster in the Championship and many Villa fans are starting to question why he doesn’t play a bigger part.
WHO SHOULD HE REPLACE?
Many Villa fans would point the finger in the direction of former Stoke midfielder Glenn Whelan. They have wanted the Irish international out of the starting XI for a while now and Onomah could be a suitable replacement. You could say that Whelan is the one midfielder in the starting XI that is mainly defensively minded, which is true but to counter this Onomah has played most of his England youth games in defensive midfield. He also has the ability to get forward making him an all-around potential better option than Whelan.
Onomah has also been known to play out wide as we saw on his Aston Villa debut when he came on against Hull. He possesses decent enough pace to play on the wing but then again, you don’t always need to be the fastest to play on the wing as we see with Snodgrass. However, I don’t feel that it is Onomah’s best position and based on Snodgrass and Adomah’s current form, I think them 2 can stay in the team ahead of Onomah.
At the moment we use a 4-4-2 system and I don’t feel that we have a real attacking threat from midfield. Another option is we could replace one of the strikers, Keinan Davis or Jonathan Kodjia (who looks unfit still). He could play in the number 10 role just off one of the strikers which is his natural position. The question is, would Steve Bruce want to drop either of the strikers?
Onomah has scored the same amount as goals as Keinan Davis this season (2) but despite being a striker Davis has contributed to the team in other ways, mainly by holding up the ball and bringing other players into play. With an attacking midfielder behind him, this could be a good way to get even more out of Davis as well as giving Onomah more starts.
Surprisingly, I have heard a few fans already calling for Kodjia to be dropped but surely you can’t drop the man who scored 19 goals for us last season and carried us in most games, this early on since his return? Of course, if Kodjia stops performing and starts to go on a scoring drought then Bruce will have to drop the Ivorian, but maybe for Hogan instead of Onomah, who would be playing deeper.
Aston Villa has been lucky managing to get this amazing talent on loan but I feel we need to utilize him more while we have that option.
Whelan is most likely to be dropped to make space for Onomah in the starting XI and I don’t think it’ll be too long before we see this switch in central-midfield.
Also, if Davis or Kodjia get any injuries or are just tired, Onomah could come in and we could switch to a 4-2-3-1 formation. In the coming game, I would definitely advise Bruce gives Onomah an opportunity.