Could reported Aston Villa target Islam Slimani thrive in the Championship?

Dean Smith manager of Aston Villa looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Stoke City at Villa Park on December 15, 2018 in Birmingham, England.

Aston Villa could reportedly make a move for Leicester City's Premier League flop Islam Slimani during the January transfer window.

Islam Slimani of Leicester City falls to his knees as he celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Huddersfield Town at The King...

Islam Slimani never came close to living up to his £29 million price-tag during a disappointing spell at Leicester City (BBC).

The Algerian target man scored just eight Premier League goals for the Foxes and an ill-fated loan spell at Newcastle United in the second half of last season is better off forgotten. 131 minutes and zero goals is hardly a stellar record after all.

But, if reports are to be believed, this has not stopped Aston Villa from potentially taking a punt on Slimani. According to Ajansspor, Villa are hoping to snap up the 30-year-old, who is still a Leicester player but currently on loan at Fenerbahce.


On paper, Slimani does not exactly look a perfect fit for a Dean Smith side who prefer to keep the ball on the ground. But the 2014 World Cup star could well have the perfect skill set for the second tier of English football.

After all, he is a real penalty box predator; an old-fashioned battering ram of a forward who is terrific in the air. He can be prolific in a side that plays to his strengths, too, scoring 31 times in his final season at Sporting Lisbon in 2015/16.

Sporting's forward Islam Slimani celebrates scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League qualifying round play-off first leg match between Sporting CP and CSKA Moscow at Estadio Jose...

And Villa might have the personnel to help Slimani rediscover his golden touch. Connor Hourihane is a terrific set-piece taker while, in Yannick Bolasie, Anwar El Ghazi and Jack Grealish, Smith has three wingers who can put a ball on a sixpence.

In an intense and physical division, Slimani’s presence and power could give Aston Villa a fearsome option.

Leicester City's Algerian striker Islam Slimani (L) heads the ball from Huddersfield Town's Danish defender Mathias Jorgensen during the English Premier League football match between...

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