Kodjia is just one goal shy of Withe’s 20-goal league mark from 1980-81.

Aston Villa legend Peter Withe has told the Birmingham Mail that it is a pity that Jonathan Kodjia’s goals have not been enough for the club to sustain a promotion challenge this season.

Kodjia has scored 19 goals in 33 Championship appearances for Villa since joining them from Bristol City in the summer, answering critics of his near-£15 million price tag.

However, the Ivorian’s individual success in front of goal has not been matched by the overall team.

Villa are all but certain to miss out on even a playoff spot the season after being relegated in misery from the Premier league, after a 1-1 draw with Burton Albion last time out left them 14 points off the top six with only five games left to play.

Withe, who was the last man to score 20 league goals in a season for Villa, doing so in the famous 1980-81 league title-winning campaign, believes Kodjia is likely to at least that mark.

However, while Withe’s tally led Villa to one of their greatest triumphs, Kodjia’s has come in an otherwise nondescript season, something which Withe thinks is a great shame.

The former striker told the Birmingham Mail: “When you look back to the 1980-81 season and think to yourself ‘Aston Villa Football Club’, you think if you’re going to win things then you’re going to have to have someone who will score a lot of goals, basically.

“To score 20 goals or whatever it is will be an achievement. I’ve always thought that if someone’s going to break it then please break it and win something.

“It would have been great if he’d have scored 20 odd goals to win us promotion or certainly get us in the play offs. I think if they would have won the Burton game you’ve got a chance to get in the top six but that didn’t happen.

“I was speaking to Steve [Bruce] about [Kodjia] because I went to the training ground this morning. The only thing I would say is that I did it in the top flight!

“I’ve watched quite a bit of the Championship and there’s some defences that I’ve looked at and thought ‘Flipping hell, I would have liked to have played against them’. Because I certainly could have got a couple of goals and they play 46 games in this division now.”

Kodjia is expected to be fit enough to keep his place in the side for this weekend’s clash with Reading at Villa Park, and he will hope to score against the Royals for a second time this season and equal Withe’s mark immediately.

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