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28th Dec, 2016 | 4:34pm

Confirmed: Major Aston Villa blow as star man to miss January fixtures

By Emma Sanders

Aston Villa have been dealt a major blow as Jonathan Kodjia has been named as part of the Ivory Coast’s provisional squad which will compete in the Africa Cup of Nations.

The 27-year-old striker has been a key member of Steve Bruce’s squad so far this season and his departure will be a huge loss to the side in the Championship.

Leading scorer Kodjia is set to miss promotion-chasing Villa’s fixtures in January, which is when the Africa Cup of Nations takes place.

The Birmingham Mail confirmed Kodjia will join Ivory Coast in the new year to take part in the international competition and he isn’t the only Villa star to depart.

Jordan Ayew will also be absent in January when he links up with Ghana but Albert Adomah will remain in England after he was left out of the squad.

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Kodjia has been in excellent form for Villa this season, notching up eight league goals already and seven of those have come in his last 12 matches.

The striker has become his country’s first choice attacker in 2016 so it will have come as no surprise to fans but his inclusion in the squad will still be a major blow for Bruce.

He may be forced to miss league games against Cardiff City, Wolves, Preston, Bristol City, Brentford, and Nottingham Forest, should his side reach the final and he is also set to miss the FA Cup clash against Tottenham.

In other Aston Villa news, this is the best possible XI to face Leeds.