It is becoming more apparent that the fans of Aston Villa are becoming increasingly frustrated by Wesley. Those who defend him will talk about his age, a new culture and some will even point to facts of previous strikers.
Before I get down to this, can I just state that I am not an anti-Wesley fan. First and foremost I am an Aston Villa supporter and I want nothing more than for every player who puts on a Villa shirt to succeed. Wesley is no different. I would love nothing more than for him to turn his Villa career around and be a major success.
Over the last few days, I have seen people compare Wesley to previous strikers for Aston Villa. And on the face of things, they don’t look too bad.
And when you actually drill it down a little, it probably even favours Wesley in a way. All three of the other players were older when they joined Aston Villa. While both Christian Benteke (22) and John Carew (28) were both familiar with European football having been born on the continent.
So the best comparison would be Juan Pablo Angel who was signed from River Plate at the young age of 26. Yes, Wesley has three years of European football under his belt compared to Angel but were they two different types of player?
Angel had already scored 91 goals in 243 games while in South America. Wesley has 38 in 125 games. His goals to game ratio is a little higher than that of Angel yet he has as many goals in as many games at the start of his Aston Villa career.
So far, not to bad on the face of things, eh?
I don’t think it is necessary the goal stats that are frustrating Villa fans. Having spoken with friends and listened to fans in the ground it is something else. His touch, technical ability and general work rate.
Leicester were simply fantastic the weekend but I will use this game as an example. Too many times the ball was played forward only for the ball to come straight back, putting the midfield and defence under pressure.
Aston Villa needs a striker who can hold up a ball, control a ball and even distribute it to the likes of Jack Grealish and Anwar El Ghazi. Fans get frustrated when the ball just bounces off your striker and you are back under pressure.
There are even some fans who state that we don’t create enough for Wesley. Again it is hard to create for a striker who isn’t one of the first into the box, or in some cases on Sunday, out wide looking to take throw-ins. Yes, you could argue, his teammates need to do more for him but he also needs to help himself with his positioning.
Villa have a real lack of alternative options right now. Keinan Davis is injured and isn’t expected back until after Christmas. The other option is Jonathan Kodjia, of whom the manager doesn’t seem to have faith in.
Kodjia frustrates me at times when I watch him. Technically, on his day, he can be fantastic but on his off days, he can be non-existent, with very little work rate.
It will be interesting to see what Dean Smith does in January. Does he stick with Wesley or does he bring in another option? Who knows, the added competition may just help Wesley or even take some of the pressure off him?