COMMENT By Matt Farr
Aston Villa fans were handed devastating news on Tuesday as it was confirmed by the club that star striker Jonathan Kodjia could miss the start of next season through injury.
The club confirmed on their official club website that the 27-year-old suffered a broken ankle during the 1-0 defeat to Blackburn on Saturday, and may need surgery, which could see him sidelined throughout the summer.
However, while it has the potential to be a crushing blow to Aston Villa’s pre-season preparations, as well as at the start of next season, it can also be considered somewhat of a blessing in disguise.
Firstly, the injury could not have come at a better time for the club. Kodjia won’t miss any important games, with only one game left to play in the Championship this season.
But had the injury come earlier in the season, particularly in the last couple of months, Aston Villa would have struggled to hit the back of the net.
Kodjia has scored 19 goals for the club this season, with the next best being Rudy Gestede with four goals, even though the striker quit the club to join Middlesbrough in January.
Aston Villa sit 12th ahead of the final day, but they could have been much worse-off without the influence of Kodjia.
But more importantly, the timing of the injury could see the club gain a priceless advantage in the transfer market.
Many fans have been concerned that Kodjia’s stunning goalscoring form this season could see a bigger club attempt to lure him away from Villa Park this summer.
However, so long as his injury status remains, clubs may be put-off making any approach. If he does not return before the start of next season, that boosts Aston Villa’s chances of retaining his services – at least until January.
It’s by no means a guarantee that he will be an Aston Villa player next season, because some clubs may still feel inclined to snap up the striker.
But doubts will remain as to whether Kodjia can replicate this season’s form, and pick up where he left off once he recovers from his broken ankle.
For now at least, Aston Villa fans should consider this a blessing in disguise.