Should Andre Green continue as a centre-forward on loan at Charlton, he could have a future beyond this season at Aston Villa.
Words: Harry Trend | @Hazatrand
There is a real possibility of a 14-year association with Aston Villa ending as this season concludes. These are daunting times for Andre Green.
In fact – the last few years haven’t been smooth sailing for the Solihull born attacker. After emerging as one of Villa’s bright sparks during a torrid relegation season, Green has bounced between the fringes of a Villa Park starting eleven and loans at various football league clubs.
But, his fortunes may finally be starting to turn. Despite an unsuccessful loan spell at the start of this season, Andre Green has had a much more fruitful time since joining Charlton Athletic – with the attacker scoring twice in his last two starts – but as a centre-forward for the Addicks.
Is a permanent position change the spark that is needed to relight Green’s Aston Villa career?
The 21-year-old has already hit greater heights at the London based club in one month than compared with his four-month stint at Preston North End. Green played a total of just 87 leagues minutes for the Lilywhites; with just one of those minutes coming after August.
“I didn’t feel like I was really getting a chance at Preston. It was probably the toughest time of my career,” Green said.
Nevertheless, it was Lee Bowyer’s idea to deploy Andre Green as a striker when Charlton faced Green’s former club, Preston, following his debut away to West Bromwich Albion. After five minutes, the new Addicks frontman opened the scoring with a tap-in at the near post, before preceding to dedicate the goal to his late Grandfather.
One game later, in a 2-1 win at home to Barnsley, Andre found himself on the scoresheet again, with the 21-year-old driving a loose ball into the bottom corner.
Both goals showcased a clear striking instinct, but it was Green’s all-round game up top which earned the praises of the Addicks faithful – particularly his work ethic and partnership with fellow frontman Lyle Taylor.
“Me and Dre (Andre) were a real handful, and I have to heap praise on him because he had a tough week with family stuff”
“For him to turn up and do what he did – you can see what his goal meant to him – so it’s a massive, massive pat on the back for him,” said Taylor after the Barnsley game.
It remains to be seen whether Green can keep the goals flowing at The Valley. Consistency is something that the Aston Villa trainee has struggled with in the past. Arguably, the 2018-19 season should have been his breakthrough season in Claret and Blue, with Robert Snodgrass departing to return to his parent club, meaning a wing berth was there for the taking.
It didn’t quite work out that way, with Green loaned out to Portsmouth at the beginning of the campaign, before being recalled in January and rarely completing a full 90 minutes in his 18 Sky Bet Championship outings once he had returned to B6.
There was the dramatic equaliser at home to Sheffield United, but that was only one of two direct goal contributions. Dean Smith also favoured a declining Albert Adomah over Green in the play-off final.
He has appeared as a centre-forward for Aston Villa too, albeit in a pre-season friendly against Dynamo Dresden under Steve Bruce – where he scored a brace.
On his day, Green is a dangerous, pacey player with a clean strike, but can be guilty of poor decision making in the final third when afforded time. Not once has he averaged over 80% pass accuracy over the course of a season. There is also his first touch too, which, although isn’t as poor as some make out, isn’t up to the standard of the Premier League.
Nevertheless, all of Andre Green’s goals in an Aston Villa shirt have been technically impressive. Twice has the 21-year-old found the top right corner for the Villans, against Norwich City and Dynamo Dresden respectively. Moreover, he is a man that genuinely loves to score – as highlighted by recent passionate celebrations.
Lee Bowyer has obviously identified these qualities and deployed Green as Charlton’s main man. Being a player who relies upon instinct is a characteristic that suits a striker more than a winger, and the Aston Villa trainee fits that bill.
If he can continue this scoring form, there’s every chance he’ll renew his Aston Villa contract past the summer of 2020. Who knows, maybe we could see him partnering Wesley or Mbwana Samatta next season?
What is for certain is that this is very likely Andre Green’s last chance to make it at his boyhood club. Here’s hoping he takes it.