COMMENT by Amir Mir
Aston Villa striker Rudy Gestede has been linked with a move to Premier League outfit West Brom, but the club would be making a huge mistake in selling their player.
Steve Bruce’s side will lose three attacking players between mid-January to the start of February, when Jonathan Kodjia, Jordan Ayew and Albert Adomah leave for the Africa Cup of Nations.
Therefore, Villa must keep hold of Benin forward Gestede, who will become a more valuable asset to the side once those players depart.
The 28-year-old has been played in sporadic fashion this term, yet he is still their second top scorer behind star man Jonathan Kodjia.
In eight starts this season the target-man has netted four goals – he last found the back of the net during the 3-1 win against Cardiff in November.
Overall, he has featured in 17 Championship games this campaign, but manager Bruce has used him as a substitute in the last three fixtures.
Gestede has valuable experience, in particular in the Championship, scoring 35 goals in 72 games for Blackburn Rovers.
He also brings a different style to the team, more aerial threat, which will be needed during the tough long haul of a Championship season.
Bruce simply needs to give the forward a good run of games in the starting XI and he will begin to reward his manager with goals.
In other Aston Villa news, supporters urge the club to sign Robert Snodgrass after he rejects a new contract with Hull.