24-year-old must be sold: Three things we learned from Aston Villa loss to Blackburn
By Matt Bullin
Football Insider analyses three of the major talking points from Aston Villa’s against Blackburn in the Championship on Saturday afternoon.
Kodjia needs better service
Villa’s top scorer Johnathan Kodjia put in one of his quietest performances of the season v Blackburn, even if he was substituted off due to injury after 70 minutes. The Ivorian did not have any chances, nor did he create any, because he was too isolated. Even with Scott Hogan up alongside him, the only service Kodjia received was long, hopeful balls punted in behind the Blackburn defence. The 27-year-old has bagged 19 goals this term – but how many could he have got if he had teammates to provide for him?
Investment is needed this summer
The Birmingham side looked average all over the pitch and further highlighted the need for investment in the summer if they are to make a return to the Premier League next season. Particularly in midfield they lacked players to take the game to Blackburn, as Henri Lansbury and Gary Gardner both put in indifferent performances. Gardner, 24, must be offloaded this summer as he is not up it. Though they lacked creativity as well as Conor Hourihane was hauled off after an anonymous afternoon, and although Leandro Bacuna tried hard all afternoon, there was a distinct lack of quality to his performance. If they are to mount a promotion challenge next term – Steve Bruce will need money for major investments.
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Baker has a shocker
Nathan Baker has been one of Villa’s most reliable players this season, and the 26-year-old has been a mainstay in Bruce’s defence having made 32 appearances in all competitions. But he made a crucial error which handed Blackburn their winner – his misplaced pass found Jason Lowe, who played in Danny Graham to score. And that was not Baker’s only discretion, he looked nervous throughout the first half as Rovers mounted an offensive on his goal and he failed to make several clearances, calling on his skipper James Chester to bail him out.
In other Aston Villa news, fans will love this message from Christian Benteke.