By support

13th Mar, 2017 | 11:39am

Gary Gardner delivers verdict on Aston Villa 27-year-old, compares to club great

By Matt Farr

Aston Villa midfielder Gary Gardner believes the club have found their new John Carew in goalscorer Jonathan Kodjia.

The Midlands club have relied heavily on the goalscoring efforts of the 27-year-old this season, with Kodjia netting 15 goals from 33 Championship appearances.

No other current Aston Villa player has more than three goals to their name, a statistic that has given Steve Bruce great cause for concern.

The Villa Park chief has urged his players to stop relying on Kodjia for their goals, but Gardner insists that the Ivorian striker must continue his form.

He told the Birmingham Mail that Kodjia was fast becoming the next John Carew, who scored 47 goals for the club during a four-and-a-half-year spell.

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Gardner said: “He just scores goals every week. I have worked with a lot of strikers here. John Carew was a similar player.

“Kodjia is up there with the best of them and hopefully he can just keep scoring. That is why he was brought to the club.

“People do their research and he is a proven scorer. It’s a credit to Jonathan. Hopefully we can keep him fit and keeping feeding him the chances.”

Kodjia moved to Aston Villa from Bristol City in August for a fee that could eventually rise to £15million fee, and fans will be happy to see him paying back his hefty transfer fee in front of goal.

Aston Villa have grown particularly reliant on Kodjia in recent weeks, after losing January signing Scott Hogan to injury.

Youngster Rushian Hepburn-Murphy is also out injured, while Bruce sold goalscoring trio Rudy Gestede, Ross McCormack and Jordan Ayew in the last transfer window.

Villa have faltered in the Championship this term despite Kodjia’s efforts, but he will have a crucial role to play as Bruce’s side will seek promotion back to the Premier League next season.

In other Aston Villa news, Simon Jordan reckons it could take longer than seven months for the club to emerge from their current state.

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