Noel Whelan has claimed Mbwana Samatta’s first goal for Aston Villa last weekend is “very important” and he is free now to dazzle for the club.   

The ex-Leeds United striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, said the “pressure is now lifted” off the 27-year-old and tips him to add to his tally in the coming games.

Samatta became the first Tanzanian to score in the Premier League following his headed effort in the Claret and Blues 2-1 defeat away to Bournemouth.

It was the number 20’s second appearance for Dean Smith’s side after making his debut in last week’s League Cup victory against Leicester City.

When asked if the Tanzanian would kick on from here, Whelan told Football Insider: “You would like to think so.

“It is very important that a new striker coming into a club gets that first goal and the monkey off your back really. The pressure is now lifted. You have got your first goal under your belt. It is now about having the belief and confidence, which we know strikers thrive on.

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“Generally, once they have got the first goal they go and get another couple in the coming games.

“Aston Villa will be hoping that he can go on and do that because they need goals and wins. They are still down there. It is going to be a fight right through until the end of the season. Getting the striker to hit a good vein of form will prove the signing worthwhile.” 

Samatta joined from Genk this January in an £8.5million deal and signed a four-and-a-half-year deal at Villa Park.

The forward netted 10 times for the Belgian side this season, including a goal at Anfield in the Champions League.

In other Aston Villa news, Danny Mills gives his verdict on Villa’s fight for survival.