Aston Villa got their 2015/16 Premier League campaign off to a winning start on Saturday as they defeated Bournemouth 1-0 courtesy of a Rudy Gestede header.
The French-born striker was making his official debut for Villa after joining the club this summer from Championship outfit Blackburn Rovers.
His height, stature and style of play make him the ideal target man to replace last season’s top scorer Christian Benteke following the former Genk star’s move to Liverpool.
The Belgian international netted 13 Premier League goals for Villa last season and almost single-handedly kept them up, a tough act to follow even for the best of strikers.
However, Gestede has his own skill set which more than matches Benteke and he put it to good use on the south coast, netting his 20th headed goal since the start of the 2013/14 campaign.
20 - Since the start of 2013/14, Rudy Gestede has scored 20 headed goals; five more than anyone else in the top four tiers. Machine.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 8, 2015
As per Opta Stats, it’s a tally which betters any other player in England’s top four tiers by five and his winning goal against the Cherries prompted team-mate Gary Gardner’s praise on Twitter.
After a tricky first half, Aston Villa controlled the second 45 and substitute Gestede’s crowning moment came when he rose highest to meet Ashley Westwood’s corner to power past goalkeeper Artur Boruc.
The victory is arguably more significant for Tim Sherwood’s men considering the number of debutants on show and the pressure on those replacing former key players at the club.