Libor Kozak done for the season

Bryn Lennon

A broken leg has sidelined the big striker for the rest of the year, dealing a major blow to the quality of Villa's forward depth.

Aston Villa striker Libor Kozak has been ruled out for the season due to a broken leg suffered in training on Thursday afternoon. Based on Paul Lambert's description of things it would appear as though the broken leg was a result of nothing but bad luck, which shouldn't come as much surprise to anyone that's paid even the least bit of attention to Aston Villa over the course of the season. Kozak has been something of a controversial figure ever since he was first connected to Villa in the summer, but his 4 goals on the season are joint-best at the club and given Villa's dependence on a big target forward, the options behind Benteke are now alarmingly thin.

Assuming Benteke doesn't attempt to force a move this winter-and given his form, that seems a reasonable assumption-Villa still have Nicklas Helenius and Jordan Bowery to provide cover if need-be. But Benteke's fitness has been spotty this season, and though he looked like himself for the first time in several months on New Year's Day, if he were to miss significant time once again it would be a less than ideal scenario to say the very least.

Given Villa's investment in Kozak and the clear need to upgrade the midfield above all else, it's difficult to see another permanent striker signing taking place in January. Loans aren't typically a great idea for a team in Villa's position, but in this case it could make a fair amount of sense if the wages involved don't prevent them from addressing longer-term needs; lots of clubs will be making upgrades this season, and there are likely to be a few younger players at bigger clubs on reasonable wages that could be made available on a temporary basis that would provide a decent upgrade over Villa's in-house options.

But in any case, it's a pretty awful stroke of luck. Kozak might not be the world's flashiest player, but he's a serviceable player to have in the rotation and he's shown a lot of consistency and scored some huge goals for Villa this season. Hopefully the break isn't so severe as to keep him from being back at full fitness in time for the start of next season, when Benteke's market value may not be as low as it is right now.

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