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9 goals in 11 games – Aston Villa’s goal-scoring woes would end the moment they sign this 29-year-old star

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Why Aston Villa should make a move for Ivan Santini in January

Aston Villa started their new era under Dean Smith with a 1-0 win over Swansea, but defeats at Norwich and QPR have seen the club hit the buffers again.

Villa sacked manager Steve Bruce after he oversaw a run of just one win in last nine Championship outings. Bruce’s successor, Dean Smith needs time to sort out the club’s problems and find his best XI. The Midlands club are currently placed 14th in the Championship, 9 points behind leaders Norwich City and 5 points from playoff contention.

Clearly, Smith’s priority in the winter transfer window should be to sort out his team’s defence. Aston Villa have leaked goals at an alarming rate this season and Smith needs to put emphasis on solving the defensive woes. And on the other end of the pitch, the Villans have struggled as well.

Goals have been tough to come by for the Midlands-based club, with Jonathan Kodjia being Villa’s top-scorer with just four goals. The likes of Tammy Abraham, Anwar El Ghazi, Yannick Bolasie and Jack Grealish are yet to click, making Aston Villa a lacklustre team going forward.

So keeping Villa’s goalscoring problems in mind, Smith must go for a centre-forward in the January transfer window. He could do a terrific job if he manages to lure Anderlecht hit-man Ivan Santini to the Villa Park.

Ivan Santini, 29, moved to Anderlecht earlier this summer after two solid years with French club SM Caen. Since moving to Anderlecht, the big Croat has impressed massively with nine goals and an assist in just 11 league outings.

In Santini, Villa would find an out-and-out centre-forward capable of scoring all kind of goals. Santini is a target-man who is excellent at holding up the ball to bring his teammates into the game. He lacks pace and is not the most mobile of strikers, but he makes it up with his superb link-up play and intelligent movement off the ball.

Standing at 6ft 3in, the four-time Croatia international is a deadly customer from set-pieces. Ivan Santini is renowned for his aerial prowess and his addition would do a world of good to Villa’s dynamics in the final third.

Going by the kind of form he has shown in Belgium Pro League, he definitely has the ability to bolster Villa’s hopes for promotion.

Read more: Aston Villa beating Fulham to complete this £2m deal in January would be a shrewd move

That said, Villa should table a handsome bid in January and sign Santini to freshen up their squad.