By Kevin Phillips

18th Jan, 2020 | 5:00pm

Exclusive: Kevin Phillips rips into Aston Villa player after exit reveal

Kevin Phillips has ripped into Jonathan Kodjia for being a let-down at Aston Villa this season.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Russell Edge, the ex-England, Sunderland and West Brom striker explained he was expecting big things from the striker this season.

But he has failed up live up to Phillips’ expectations and is now on the verge of joining Qatar club Al Gharafa on a permanent deal.

A club statement on Twitter revealed that Kodjia had arrived for a medical after they had agreed a fee with Villa.

“I have to say, in the Championship a good player, but I’ve been disappointed with his goals return for villa and certainly his performances in the Premier League,” Phillips told Football Insider.

“It surprises me because I thought he’d be built for it; big, powerful, quick but again, maybe a bit like Wesley, he’s found it hard to adapt his style of play and some players are more suited to the Championship than they are in the Premier League and and that’s just the way it is.”

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

The 30-year-old Ivory Coast international has made just nine appearances in the current campaign, with his only two goals coming against Liverpool’s youth team in last month’s League Cup quarter-final.

He has not played for Villa since the FA Cup defeat to Fulham nearly a fortnight ago because of illness.

Manager Dean Smith is closing in on an £8.5million deal for Genk striker Mbwana Samatta as he prepares to lose Kodjia and after Wesley was ruled out for the rest of the season.

In other Aston Villa news, it can be REVEALED that north-east big hitters have set their sights on signing senior man after contract opening.