Do Aston Villa need to buy another forward in the transfer window? It seems to be a perpetual question. If inventors are still looking to create a perpetual motion mechanism, they should look towards B6 - because our forward line is constantly revolving.
With Scott Hogan’s minor twist and Kodjia’s ankle break, the voices asking that question have become a lot louder.
Keinan Davis arrived amidst Hogan’s misfortune and played a full half against Brighton and Hove Albion where he did nothing but shine. While he lacked a bit of killer instinct, he showed a lot of guts, determination and intelligence. He found himself through on goal thanks to his strength and should have been rewarded with a goal, but the youngster had clearly forgot his shooting boots on a day where he found himself with chances to spare. If he’d found his goal, he’d have had the perfect 10 performance.
What did he do well? He used his strength amazingly. With long balls, Davis was able to bring them down, caress the ball and ‘do something’. This is in huge difference to the play of Kodjia and Hogan. They know they will get a chance, but Davis tries to make them. Davis’ use of his weight and strength delayed the game in the final third and ensured that he could bring Jack Grealish and Conor Hourihane into the game. If he wasn’t able to mess with Brighton’s defence himself, he allowed others the chance to do so. Davis found himself being able to pass the ball easily (with the odd stray pass, but at least the intent to share the ball is there). Davis - playing for a 10 man Villa, found more of the ball and created chances. Villa with Hogan or Kodjia are incredibly toothless until the magic happens. Davis leading the line for Villa made the team, even with a player down, look incredibly threatening.
A lot of hype has surrounded the future of Rushian Hepburn-Murphy and thanks to injury, his chance won’t come yet - but Davis has the chance right in front of him and if Steve Bruce decides to play with two strikers up front, there is every chance that Davis could make one of those slots his own.