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2019-2020 Player Preview: Jonathan Kodjia

The gift of goals means the attacking player has a role

Aston Villa v West Bromwich Albion - Sky Bet Championship Play-off Semi Final: First Leg Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

Jonathan Kodjia is in an odd spot right now at Aston Villa, to say the least.

Let’s start with the obvious. He is a talented goal scorer in his prime at age 29. This is his last year on his Villa contract. The next time he steps onto the pitch it will be his first Premier League appearance. The man needs to make an impression — will he be given the opportunity to do so? And will he take it?

Kodjia carried Aston Villa in the early days in the Championship. His individual effort created goals — and thus points. The team was not very good so often it was left to ‘Jimmy Danger’ to make it happen on his own, and he did.

With Dean Smith and a new look Aston Villa, this team is better and tries to play together. Kodjia must adjust his game — in a similar way that he would do when playing with Albert Adomah in the seasons gone by. The settling-in period with his new teammates is complicated by his delay in returning to the team because of his Africa Cup of Nations involvement with Ivory. But he is going to get a chance (pending transfers) because the new striker Wesley is going to take time to adjust and there is no evidence that Smith has put the talented Keinan Davis above Kodjia in the depth chart as of yet.

Kodjia can also lay claim to a backup role as a winger — likely behind Jota, El Ghazi, Trezeguet, and possibly Elmohamady, but he’ll want to be leading the line once more the boys in Claret and Blue.