Why Jonathan Kodjia is worth a punt for Cardiff City in January
The 30-year-old Ivorian international, who boasts of 11 goals in 24 senior international appearances for his nation, was the subject of a £7m bid from Qatari outfit Al-Gharafa back in September. However, Villa boss Dean Smith was clearly reluctant to sanction his departure without securing a replacement. (h/t Wales Online)
With Kodjia playing a meagre 20 minutes of football for the Lions in the Premier League so far, spread across a couple of substitute cameos against Tottenham and Liverpool, Aston Villa are apparently willing to change their stance on his future. Moreover, his contract is set to expire in the summer. (Football Insider h/t Wales Online)
As per the report, the Villans could open the door for the veteran to seek greener pastures in January. Hence, it is clear that Villa are keen to avoid losing Kodjia for free at the end of the season and they are set to entertain offers for him during the mid-season trading period.
Kodjia, who scored 19 goals in 52 appearances for Bristol City earlier in his career before completing a switch to Villa Park in the summer of 2016, has racked up impressive returns of 29 goals and 8 assists in 100 appearances for the Midlands giants.
However, with Villa now in the Premier League and Wesley Moraes clearly ahead of him in the pecking order, the Ivorian’s days at Villa Park look numbered.
Meanwhile, Cardiff City have shown strong signs of promise under new manager Neil Harris following a hit-and-miss start to the campaign under Neil Warnock.
Harris, who took over the reins in South Wales last month after Warnock walked away on mutual consent in the wake of the Bluebirds’ 1-0 home defeat against Bristol City, has guided the club to back-to-back victories over Stoke City and Nottingham Forest in recent weeks.
The surprise 1-0 victory over Forest propelled Cardiff City to 10th place in the Championship standings and in touching distance of the top-six. However, the Bluebirds are still very much a work in progress under Neil Harris, who will need to address some major issues in January to reinvigorate the club’s surge for promotion.
To that end, bringing in a prolific striker during the mid-season trading period could prove to be a smart piece of business and someone like Jonathan Kodjia, who boasts of a tally of 47 goals in 139 career appearances in the Championship, certainly fits the bill.
With Robert Glatzel, Gary Madine, Omar Bogle, Danny Ward and Isaac Vassell all in the ranks, the Bluebirds are certainly not short of striking options at the moment, but it is imperative to point out that the five players have shared only 8 goals among them so far.
Bogle and Vassell have very much been peripheral figures when it comes to their involvement in Cardiff’s starting eleven in the Championship this season.
Madine, on the other hand, has been handed starts by Harris in each of his first three games in charge, although he is yet to repay the manager’s faith in his abilities with a goal.
Realistically, Cardiff City would need to get some of their existing striking options off their books if they are to complete a move for Jonathan Kodjia in January and Harris has suggested that the Bluebirds will need to trim their squad in order to make way for new arrivals. (h/t Wales Online)
Kodjia might have struggled to make a big impact on the Premier League but his numbers in the Championship certainly make for some impressive reading.
With that in mind, Cardiff are well within their rights to look at the Ivorian as someone who could possibly add a lot more goals to their ranks during the second half of the campaign.
Besides his obvious wealth of experience in the second-tier, Kodjia also contributes a lot with his versatility to play in multiple roles across the forward line, and his arrival could go a long way towards improving the Bluebirds’ squad dynamics, with Harris relying on a 4-2-3-1 system.
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All in all, Cardiff City’s interest in Jonathan Kodjia certainly strikes the right chords and this looks like a move that could well work wonders for their hopes of securing a return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.