The forwards. The ‘goal scorers’. But how are we going to grade them?

Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy


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Aston Villa’s forwards have largely not lived up to the lofty expectations placed upon them at the start of the season – but have provided goals in important games – just perhaps not as many as some would have hoped.

This wasn’t too much of an issue earlier in the season, when the defence was resolute, but has become more of an issue as we’ve moved to the half-way point of the season.


Midpoint player ratings: Aston Villa’s midfielders


Strikers:

Wesley Moraes: C-

  • Minutes played: 1,830
  • Goals scored: 4
  • Assists: 0

Wesley has struggled to play in the singular target-man role for Aston Villa this season – and it seems like the club have some kind of fetish for signing strikers and not playing to their strengths. Even Football Manager lists Wesley as having the trait of ‘playing on the right side of a front two’.

He’s scored, he’s missed, he’s done stuff and he’s done nothing.

At least he’s not Joelinton though, right?

Keinan Davis: D

  • Minutes played: 111
  • Goals: 0
  • Assists: 0

Young Keinan Davis has looked sprightly when gifted game time this season but is yet to find the net across all of his substitute appearances in the Premier League.

He’s not played since a 24 minute showing against Manchester City at the Etihad due to a hamstring injury.

Jonathan Kodjia: E

  • Minutes played: 90
  • Goals: 0
  • Assists: 0

Jonathan Kodjia looks more and more likely to leave Aston Villa as time goes on. With only 90 minutes across five appearances, the Ivory Coast international has not mustered anything of merit in the league.

It goes to show that statistics wise, he’s not managed to make over 50% of his actions ‘successful’ in any game other than a ten-minute appearance against Liverpool; in which he could arguably be given some of the blame for the late loss.



Wingers:

Anwar El Ghazi: B-

  • Minutes played: 1,312
  • Goals: 3
  • Assists: 3

Anwar has done relatively well considering some fans didn’t rate him in the Sky Bet Championship. He’s had the opportunity to have probably doubled his goal scoring tally, hitting the bar a number of times and missing sitters too.

But he’s predictable at times and looks less confident in trying to beat a man. What’s happened to the Anwar that embarrassed West Brom last season?

If he’d have buried some of the ‘sitters’ he’d have a higher Grade than he has.

Trézéguet: C+

  • Minutes played: 1,069
  • Goals: 3
  • Assists: 1

Trézéguet looked like he was picking up some form, scoring three goals in four games against top-ten opposition in the form of Liverpool, Wolves and Chelsea, but since then his game-time has come mainly from the bench.

It’s questionable as to why this is the case – but the Egyptian always looks to be blowing ten minutes before time. Is the pace of the league too much for him?


Overall Rating: D

There’s plenty of room for improvement, and that’s likely to come with changes from Dean Smith or the arrival of another striker in January. Wesley has taken the brunt of the flack this season, but that’s not necessarily fair.

Things could be better. Things could be worse.

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