VILLA IN MARKET TO EASE LOSS OF KODJIA
JONATHAN Kodjia’s departure for Africa Cup of Nations duty is undoubtedly a blow for Aston Villa, and manager Steve Bruce admits he is interested in adding more firepower up front to compensate for the Ivorian’s absence.
Kodjia has already plundered nine goals for Villa this term, and although Ross McCormack or Gabby Agbonlahor could fill in for the 27-year-old, Bruce is considering other alternatives.
“If a striker comes along who will be better than what we’ve got, we will act,” said Bruce.
“It’s a difficult situation we find ourselves in because the one player who has scored us our goals has left us.
“We’re disappointed to lose him (Kodjia), but hopefully we can cope without him. He could be back in two weeks!
“We still need strengthening up front, in midfield and defensively, so we’ll see what comes off.”
While Kodjia will be back at Villa Park in the near future, one man who has departed on a more permanent basis is goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini.
The Italian has returned to his native country on an 18-month loan and Bruce is convinced it was the best option for the 21-year-old after Manchester United stopper Sam Johnstone joined Villa on loan earlier this month.
“We didn’t want him sitting around, so it made sense, with Sam Johnstone coming in, to send him on loan,” added Bruce.
“It’s fair to say that, once I’d left him out and I’d brought in another keeper, what was the next step for Pier? In truth, he is a young lad and Aston Villa came too soon for him.
“He still needs to learn his trade. It’s a good thing he’s out there playing again.
“Ideally, it would have been in this country, but we still own him and we’ll keep monitoring his progress.”
AWAY: Jonathan Kodjia