Why Aston Villa should move for Christoph Monschein in January
According to Sport 24 via Sport Witness (h/t Birmingham Mail), Aston Villa are interested in signing striker Christoph Monschein, who currently plies his trade with Austrian Wien in the Austrian Bundesliga.
The 27-year-old has been scouted by Villa ahead of the January transfer window and his stellar run of form in the Austrian top-flight has prompted the Lions to shortlist him as a potential transfer target, with manager Dean Smith currently on the lookout for options to increase competition for places in the club’s striking department. (Sport 24 h/t Birmingham Live)
Monschein has been firing on all cylinders for Austria Wien this term, having already racked up incredible returns of 13 goals and 7 assists in 18 appearances across all competitions, however, the Austrian giants are looking for a fee of around €5million to part ways with their star striker. (Sport 24 via Sport Witness h/t Birmingham Live)
Unsurprisingly, Villa have baulked at that asking price and they are clearly unwilling to pay that kind of money for a player who is yet to ply his trade away from his homeland.
However, with Austrian Wien under pressure to balance the books and cope with some financial difficulties, the Midlands giants remain hopeful of negotiating a lower fee if they do opt to go ahead with a move. (Sport 24 via Sport Witness h/t Birmingham Live)
Christoph Monschein started his career in his homeland with lower-division outfits SC Brunn am Gebirge and ASK Ebreischsdorf before rising to prominence with Admira Wacker in the top-flight.
A tally of 18 goals and 5 assists in 49 appearances was good enough to warrant a switch to Austrian Wien in 2017 and the striker has gone on to enhance his reputation as a late bloomer in his homeland, accumulating 33 goals and 14 assists in 93 appearances for his current club.
A right-footed attacker, Monschein is essentially a centre-forward by trade but he has also illustrated the versatility to play out wide on either flank as a wide attacker.
To put things into perspective, Aston Villa are still short of competition in some areas of the pitch despite splashing a fortune to complete a massive squad overhaul in the summer following their promotion to the Premier League, and the acquisition of Christoph Monschein could solve a nagging issue up top for Dean Smith.
Bolstered by the club-record arrival of Wesley Moraes from Club Brugge, Villa started the season with three central-striking options capable of spearheading the attack, with Jonathan Kodjia and youngster Keinan Davis expected to deputise for the Brazilian new signing.
However, the recent injury to Davis has rendered Kodjia as the only senior option in the ranks to compete with Wesley for a place up top and given that the Ivorian too has had his fair share of problems with injuries, not to mention his lacklustre form, Villa are well within their rights to dip into the market for a new striker in January.
Furthermore, it is worth reminding that lack of goals has often proven to be the major reason behind the undoing of promoted teams over the years, and a return of 17 goals in 12 games, though not poor by any means, is something that Villa will need to improve upon if they are to climb up the standings in the coming months.
Notwithstanding the fact that Monschein could be a risky proposition for the Lions, given his lack of previous experience in any of the top-five leagues in Europe, the striker’s impressive returns in his homeland mean that Smith shouldn’t hesitate to complete a deal for him if the right price can be negotiated.
Of course, a striker with proven Premier League pedigree could be a better option for Villa in January but there aren’t always too many options available midway through the campaign.
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All in all, signing Christoph Monschein looks like a potential risk-reward move for Aston Villa and one that could pay off handsomely if the Austrian manages to chip in with some vital contribution towards the latter half of the campaign.