Why Mbwana Samatta would be a smart signing for Aston Villa
Back in June, the Leicester Mercury had claimed Aston Villa were one of the Premier League clubs interested in Genk striker Mbwana Samatta. AS Roma and Lyon were also keen on the centre-forward, whose 23 goals played a crucial role in helping Genk win the Belgian Pro League last season.
Yet since the transfer window slammed shut in early August, Mbwana Samatta, 26, has got his head down and picked up where he left off after a career-best 2018/19 campaign. He has hit five goals in 1- league games, whilst netting once in three Champions League fixtures for the Belgian outfit.
With the Tanzania national team skipper impressing currently for Genk, Aston Villa must surely rekindle their interest in him when the transfer market reopens.
Aston Villa spent heavily to reinforce their squad over the summer following top-flight promotion. The Villans have had a decent start to the Premier League campaign but still would do well with a couple of additions in January. One area Dean Smith should look to strengthen is his options up front.
Villa’s big-money summer signing Wesley Moraes has four goals in nine games, with two coming in the 5-1 victory over Norwich City earlier this month. Other than Moraes, Smith has Jonathan Kodjia and the 21-year-old Keinan Davis as the only options upfront.
It’s clear the Midlands club need more firepower, especially a player to continuously compete with Wesley for a place in the starting XI.
Samatta, in that regard, would fit the bill perfectly for Smith’s Villa. The 26-year-old, who scored 32 goals in 51 games across all competitions last season, is fast, skilful and dynamic and unpredictable with his movement in and around the box.
The centre-forward will finish off a chance if he is provided with the service and loves to play on the shoulder of the last defender.
The Tanzania international excels when running in behind the opposition’s defence, making him such a difficult player to mark in the final third. The former TP Mazembe man is adept at finding the net with powerful drives and more than capable of scoring headed goals.
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There is the lingering concern that Samatta is relatively untested in a top European division. His goals in Europe are of course an impressive feat, but he is unquestionably an untested player in a top league – this may prove a problem in the Premier League.
However, because of the sheer amount of goals he scored last season in Belgium, Villa shouldn’t hesitate to take a gamble on Samatta.
While a January move away from Genk looks unlikely, Samatta may find a move to the Premier League hard to refuse should Villa make a formal approach.