There’s no doubt Aston Villa should have gained automatic promotion with or without Jonathan Kodjia. When you spend around £30m in the Championship on three of the division’s top marksman, you’d expect to put yourself in a decent position.
Last season Kodjia’s 19 goals didn’t even see Villa finish in the top-half of the division, so Villa’s struggles in the division aren’t really connected to his injuries. This season his goals have been replaced by the efforts of Albert Adomah and overall the goals have been spread better across the team.
Having said that, if there was a time for Kodjia to really serve his full potential, then it’ll be in the play-offs. Where if he’s up-to-speed fitness and sharpness wise he may give Villa an extra advantage.
He was expected to be back until mid-April, so Steve Bruce’s suggestion that he’ll potentially feature in the first-team squad for Hull City is good news.
“He will be involved. It’s a big boost to us all. He played 45 minutes in a behind closed doors game which was readied for him,” Bruce told reporters, earlier in the week.
“He’s trained since, looks in decent nick. Just at the right time we could have our big centre forward available.”
The Villa boss has had the advantage of having Lewis Grabban in on loan, so he hasn’t had to rely on getting Kodjia back as fast as he may have. Over the international break though, Villa stepped up the intensity of his training to get him in the picture for Hull and the full run-in.
“We haven’t rushed him back,” said Bruce.
“Jimmy being Jimmy wants to be involved. It’s an excellent time to get him involved.”
After Lewis Grabban’s contribution and unselfish work for the team in recent matches, the question remains though, is Kodjia a better bet than Grabban to start?
In other injury news, Neil Taylor, Alan Hutton and Axel Tuanzebe are now all fit and available for selection.