It appears Villa may not be as shorthanded in January and February as was initially thought. Because of the African Cup of Nations, it was possible that Villa would lose Rudy Gestede if Benin qualified, Jordan Ayew and Albert Adomah if Ghana qualified, and Jonathan Kodjia if Ivory Coast qualified. Of the 4 that Villa could have lost, it appears only two will actually be missing during the AFCON.
Ghana today released their final squad for the tournament. Jordan Ayew, an important but not irreplaceable part of the Villa attack, was named in it but Albert Adomah, who commands a more unique role for Villa, was not. All things considered, this is not a disastrous result. Ayew often lacks the motivation and conviction to make a real impact on matches, while Adomah’s contributions recently have been even more vital. Ayew did assist Ross McCormack’s winner on Boxing Day against Burton, but Adomah’s 5 assists already this season demonstrate his value as a creator for Villa. Ayew will certainly be missed, but he is likely a less vital loss than Adomah would have been because Adomah has almost no replacements in Villa’s squad, while there are multiple strikers who could do a shift similar to Ayew.
Star striker Jonathan Kodjia will still likely miss large portions of January and February, however. Kodjia is a regular feature for Ivory Coast and while their squad has not yet been named, he is almost certainly going to be in it. His goals will also be difficult to replace, but the attack force of Adomah, Gestede, Agbonlahor, McCormack, Grealish, and any potential January signings will hopefully be able to score enough goals to keep Villa afloat while Ayew and Kodjia are away.