By Alan Hutton

27th Nov, 2019 | 3:26pm

'Little bit of magic' - Alan Hutton suggests Smith may hand rarely-seen Villa player run-out

Alan Hutton suggests that Aston Villa manager Dean Smith could hand Jonathan Kodjia a rare run-out in the first-team despite having doubts over his overall fitness.

The former Villa and Scotland star, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says that the 30-year-old is the sort of player who can produce a moment of magic up front and that it may be worth giving him a chance after Wesley’s barren spell.

The Brazilian hitman has now gone five Premier League games without finding the back of the net, his last goals coming in the 5-1 win over Norwich City.

With Smith’s first-choice struggling to score, Hutton suggests a runout for Kodjia would not be the worst thing in the world, although he did cast doubts over his former teammate’s ability to see out the full 90 minutes.

“At the moment it seems Kodjia is a backup option, his number one is obviously Wesley,” Hutton told Football Insider

“I do think Kodj can give you that little bit of magic from time to time. Whether he can go and play week in, week out I’m not sure because he’s had some injuries, he’s not really had the chance to go and prove himself at this level.

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“Maybe it’s worth throwing him in at some point to see what he’s capable of but I’m sure he’s one that will want to prove his worth to the manager.” 

Kodjia, who arrived at Villa Park from Bristol City back in 2016, has 100 appearances and 29 goals under his belt for the Villans, only three of those outings coming during the 2019/20 campaign.

Last season saw him play second fiddle to Tammy Abraham on the way to play-off glory, the Ivory Coast ace scoring nine goals in 39 Championship matches.

In other Aston Villa news, Hutton has blasted a senior mainstay who “must do better” after his performance against Newcastle United on Monday night.