Aston Villa have reportedly agreed a fee with Lorient for striker Jordan Ayew, thought to have been around the £9 million mark. He will join on a five-year deal, with some of the formalities like the medical already completed according to the French press. It’s hopefully just the first step in replenishing Villa’s striker options after Christian Benteke followed Andreas Weimann and Darren Bent out of the club.
Despite Ayew’s expected arrival, the Villa faithful won’t be too confident going into the season with just the Ghanaian, Gabby Agbonlahor, Libor Kozak and Calum Robinson as their main striker options. It would certainly make them weaker upfront than last season, as they currently also are in midfield.
Certainly pre season already has shown the toothlessness of Villa’s forward endeavour, although injuries to Carles Gil and Jack Grealish haven’t helped.
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In terms of the latest striker names to be attached to Villa, beyond the ones we’ve already mentioned, Liverpool’s Fabio Borini’s name has resurfaced again. The Liverpool flop faired a better at Sunderland in his loan spell last season, but he’s perhaps nobody to pin our hopes on for a consistent presence upfront.
Another French league target is rumoured to be on Sherwood’s list in the shape of Rennes’ Paul-Georges Ntep. Despite being born in Cameroon, Ntep is a French international, so he won’t go missing in the beginning of 2017 like Ayew, when the African Nations Cup begins.
Meanwhile rumours of Charlie Austin asking for £85,000-a-week, seem to be pure press invention, as one decent season in the Premier League doesn’t warrant such a wage. The player himself seems to acknowledge the fact, after some ironic Twitter foreplay, posting a picture of Mr Greedy of the Mr Men.
It’s been disappointing that Villa have left it so late to sort out their first team squad with only two weeks to go, especially their forward line. It makes the week ahead vitally important, with key players ideally signed up this week to at least give them a game in the friendly at Nottingham Forest next Saturday.
At the moment, confidence for the season ahead isn’t exactly booming.
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