The Return of Kodjia
It’s reported today that Villa striker Jonathan Kodjia is back in training and will take part in Villa’s preseason, after it was initially thought he would be out several months after breaking his ankle and miss the start of the season.
Villa boss Steve Bruce had at one stage feared he could be missing last season’s top scorer for up to six months after Kodjia was injured during Villa’s last away game of the season at Blackburn Rovers.
The Ivory Coast international has had six weeks of recovery time since his operation on May 4th, and while it’s unclear at this stage how far Kodjia is away from being match fit, it’s a big plus for Villa going into a crucial season.
Villa’s over reliance on Kodjia though is still a concern and whether the striker can adapt to playing in a front two is still to be seen. Ultimately though, making Villa more of a threat going forward as a team will be key to Villa’s promotion prospects and you’d also expect Kodjia to beat his goal total last season, if Bruce gets it right.
No doubt a fit Kodjia in preseason will make some Villa fans nervous that a Premier League club may swoop for his services before the 31st August, but at this stage that looks unlikely.
Meanwhile, another one of Villa’s better performers last season, Mile Jedinak, has dropped out of Australia’s Confederation Cup campaign due to new groin injury concerns.
It seems judging by Aussie manager Ange Postecoglou’s thoughts on the situation that it’s been a joint discussion between Villa and the Socceroos to rest Jedinak, so he’s ready for Villa’s season and the more pressing international concern of World Cup qualification.
“He has had a tough period since Christmas with his groin and we all agree it is in the best long-term interest of Mile and the Socceroos that he has a break,” said Postecoglou.
“He will take a break to ensure he is ready for the season ahead with his club and what is also an important 12 months for the national team, beginning with the World Cup qualifiers in August/September.”
The fact that Jedinak now has time off to recover properly and not be at risk of any fresh international injuries (where he mainly picks them up), before the start of the new season, is a big plus for Bruce’s plans.
Check out the latest MOMS podcast episode below: