Follow us on Twitter @claretandview // Words by Jake Evans (@jakeevans_11)

At the end of last season, Jonathan Kodjia finished the season with 19 goals in all competitions to leave him as our top scorer. With this title looming over him, the pressure is on the Ivorian to produce a similar level of form this season in order to guide us back to the Premier League… however, with clubs like Everton sniffing around Kodjia’s feet and our new-found style of play, we feel it would be a good idea to have a look at how this team would now fare without our main man.

Since Villa started playing in a 4-4-2 formation, we have won 4 out of 6 games and drawn the other two. However, Kodjia has only scored once during this time- a penalty against Bolton Wanderers. This shows that we now have a nucleus of attacking players in Davis, Adomah, Hourihane and Snodgrass who are all capable of chipping in with goals. So this begs the question… would we miss him in this department? The most likely answer is no – we simply haven’t needed his goals this season, which is a clear sign of how much we are progressing from the Bent, Benteke and now Kodjia eras.

The 4-4-2 style of play that we have been using for the last month has proved to be a fantastic source of goals. Keinan Davis, in particular, has been vital for us with his hold up play to bring his teammates into the game. Kodjia’s runs are, naturally, fantastic – but his selfish streak has led to many chances being wasted in the six games since he has returned from his injury lay-off. As a result of this, it is very likely that it would be more beneficial to the team to have a striker who can make the run’s, and make sure that the ball hits the back of the net. Which leads me on to the final point…

Who could possible replace a 19-goal a season striker? Well… the 14 goals in-half-a-season-man who is currently languishing on our bench would be a good place to start. Our system fits Scott Hogan perfectly, and he could thrive when playing off Davis and being given license to use his pace to beat defenders. Another alternative is  Albert Adomah, who has been known to play as a striker before. His versatility in the attacking department could allow players like Andre Green and Jack Grealish to re-enter the fray once they have recovered from their injuries.

What are your opinions? Do you think that we could survive without our #22?

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