Exclusive: Darren Bent claims Villa need to bin 2016 signing after transfer offer tabled

Darren Bent has suggested that Aston Villa should “part ways” with Jonathan Kodjia this season as he heads towards the end of his contract at the club.

The former Villa and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says that the 29-year-old has not shown his worth for Dean Smith’s men over the past 12 months and that it could be worth replacing him with a more natural goalscorer.

Kodjia is into the last year of his current deal at Villa Park and, as revealed by Football Insider, saw Smith turn down the chance for him to move to Qatari side Al-Gharafa after an offer was made for his signing at the end of September.

Bent says that the Ivory Coast international could do a job for Villa if they were facing relegation to the Championship but that his record last season, in which he scored nine goals in 39 appearances, suggests they could do better up front.

Bent told Football Insider: “You could hand him a new deal but is he going to change lives in the Premier League for Aston Villa? You don’t know.

“If they’re looking like they’re going to go down, which I hope they don’t, then we’ve seen him score goals in the Championship regularly, you might want to hold onto him in case he gets that opportunity, then you know he can score goals.

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“It’s a tough one, he’s not really set the world alight for Villa, I wouldn’t say he’s done that last season either. Maybe you part ways with him and maybe try and find someone else, like a Dwight Gayle or someone like that.”

Kodjia has been absent for much of this season after a freak cheekbone injury suffered in training, with just one Premier League appearance under his belt so far.

He has a total of 98 games for the Villans since joining from Bristol City back in 2016, while he also has 16 international caps to his name.

In other Aston Villa news, Alan Hutton claims that one rarely-seen Villa star is set for an immediate return to Dean Smith’s plans after the international break.