Mbwana Samatta was linked to Aston Villa around a month ago, but proves to be possibly the better of the striking options that we’ve been linked with.
Words by Regan Foy | @FindFoy
It wouldn’t be the transfer window, and especially one in the Premier League, if Aston Villa weren’t linked with all-and-sundry from the top European leagues.
Around a month ago, a number of sources stated that Aston Villa were rivalling the likes of Brighton for the signature of Tanzanian striker Mbwana Samatta – a link which did not really get Aston Villa fans salivating.
Of course, the club have been linked with the likes of Neal Maupay and many other forwards, so for fans to get excited over a striker that many had never heard of before would have been a little odd.
But, as in every transfer window, there’s always a mention of the big Belgian Christian Benteke returning to Villa Park. Generally this is never in the press, or the bookies, but it’s just fans clamouring for the return of the fabled son who, when you look at it, left a sinking ship but never quite made it to dry land at Liverpool or Crystal Palace.
Rather than return to something that we’ve already had a taste of and that seems to have curdled, at least a bit, most fans agree that we should be casting our net in fresher waters – and a link to Mbwana Samatta comes from those nets.
Hell, it’s unlikely, in our opinion at least, that Aston Villa will be signing Samatta unless Scott Hogan is offloaded from the books at Villa Park.
Earlier this week, Aston Villa confirmed the signing of Wesley Moraes from Club Brugge after the forward’s work permit was accepted. This signing isn’t a case of filling a Benteke shaped hole though and seems rather more likely to be filling a Tammy Abraham shaped hole instead.
Samatta is strong, agile, and seems to be able to pull goals out of thin air – reminiscent of Benteke during the slow decline of the club before their relegation, as the Belgian forward often produced moments of magic and is considered to have almost singlehandedly kept the club in the league on a few occasions.
Just a few weeks ago, we took a look at the forwards linked to Aston Villa and tried to decipher which of them would be within the better options for the Premier League. Our studies showed that Samatta was grouped alongside other forwards like Michy Batshuayi, Jamie Vardy and Callum Wilson, in that these forwards retain possession well and are talented and proficient, but not great at team-work.
This of course, could be offset by playing two up top – with Wesley’s impact as a team-player evident, and Samatta more of a lone wolf. Of course, as we’ve seen under Dean Smith, this is unlikely.
Mbwana Samatta, in the current footballing environment, is a better option than the resigning of Christian Benteke – but offers much of the style that the Belgian forward offered at Aston Villa.
With a fee of £15,000,000 quoted and a reported bid of £12,000,000 coming from Aston Villa, a potential £37,000,000 could have been spent on forwards from the Jupiler League by the end of the summer.