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What next for Aston Villa's Jonathan Kodjia?

Jonathan Kodjia of Aston Villa scores for Aston Villa during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Millwall at Villa Park on April 22, 2019 in Birmingham, England.

Jonathan Kodjia played a role on the flanks during Aston Villa's promotion to the Premier League.

Ivory Coast's forward Jonathan Kodjia celebrates after scoring a goal during their international friendly football match against Russia in Krasnodar on March 24, 2017.

Jonathan Kodjia was a bit of an unsung hero for Aston Villa last season because his contributions from the flanks played a big part in Dean Smith earning promotion.

Understandably, whilst the plaudits were aimed towards a John McGinn or a Jack Grealish, just slowly in the background, whilst also playing out of position, Kodjia was doing his thing. 

But at 29-years-old, what does the future hold for 'Jimmy Danger'? Kodjia initially joined Villa in 2016 when he made a £15 million switch from Bristol City [BBC Sport].

 

Despite Villa performing in a mediocre fashion during that campaign, his 19 goals in the league were well remembered as he would have no doubt hit 20+ had he not got injured towards the back end of the campaign. 

Injuries didn't help him the season before last, and despite Villa reaching the play-off final under Steve Bruce, he hardly featured because of those problems. 

But during the season gone by, Dean Smith deployed him on the flanks, as star man Tammy Abraham stole the show and scored goal after goal - Kodjia's lack of game time during that period could have resulted in him leaving the club in January [Ouest France], but he rightly stayed on. 

Aston Villa's Tammy Abraham has a shot at goal

Since their promotion, Villa have signed nine players, including four attack-minded players, which perhaps decreases Kodjia's chances of earning regular game time.

Smith has two senior strikers at his disposal. Club record signing Wesley and Scott Hogan. Plus, Keinan Davis can deploy that role.

After playing him out wide last season, will Smith now use Kodjia in his regular forward role? Or given his experience, versatility and the fact that he can be dangerous on his day, will he become a squad player, who can make an impact from the bench and then come into the XI if anything goes wrong. 

Truthfully, the latter perhaps suits Kodijia the most, and if he can find that form that won him plaudits in his debut season at Villa then he will entertain one and all in the Premier League. 

Jonathan Kodjia of Aston Villa scores a goal from a penalty to make score 1-1 during the Sky Bet Championship match between Rotherham United and Aston Villa at The New York Stadium on...

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