Championship Striker of the Season: Aston Villa’s Jonathan Kodjia

Kodjia the key – skysports.com

When Aston Villa drew 1-1 with Brentford back in September, a chorus of boos greeted John Egan’s late equalizer, which denied the hosts an undeserved victory. Their midfield had looked tentative, unfit and unsure of itself, while expensive forward Ross McCormack barely had a kick.

The one player who showed any belief that evening was Jonathan Kodjia – and he was playing on the right wing, away from his more natural position. The 27-year-old showed a willingness to run with the ball and make things happen, scoring a delightful first half opener.

In many ways, that night symbolizes Aston Villa’s season. They have fallen short of the pre-season targets with many indifferent performances, but Kodjia has been the one shining light.

He has scored 17 goals, more than any player outside the top five bar Tammy Abraham. The Bristol City man, along with three others have scored more goals, but few have been the driving force behind their side’s play in quite the same way as Kodjia. No striker in the Championship has made more dribbles per game (2.2 – WhoScored) than the Ivorian who has been fouled 1.5 times every match.

If Villa can keep Kodjia firing, Steve Bruce will believe better things are to come.