Sport Can Scott Hogan be Villa's goalscoring solution?

16:30  07 january  2018
16:30  07 january  2018 Source:

Predicted Villa XI: Bristol City (H)

  Predicted Villa XI: Bristol City (H) Aston Villa earned a very valuable three points on Saturday afternoon thanks to a hard-thought 1-0 win over promotion rivals Middlesbrough. If we are being perfectly honest, it wasn’t the best of performances from Steve Bruce’s side, but after a pretty poor December, Bruce, the players, and the fans won’t care too much about that. These three points moved Villa up to 7th in the table, level on points and goal difference with Sheffield United in sixth. Games come thick and fast at this time of year and next up for Villa is a tricky home match against Bristol City. The Robin’s have been having a fantastic season, and they are currently in 3rd place, six points above Villa. They have only lost four games this season which can only be bettered by Wolves. Therefore, Villa will know that they cannot afford to be sloppy if they wish to get anything out of this game. Here is our predicted Villa XI for Monday’s match against Brighton.

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Scott Hogan signed for Villa in January 2017 for around £9.5 million and has struggled to hit the goalscoring hight’s that he hit during his time at Brentford, since swapping Griffin Park for Villa Park.

Hogan scored 21 league goals in 33 appearances for Brentford and his scintillating form had Premier League suitors West Ham sniffing around, but since he made his move to Villa he hasn’t come close to a return of that level.

The striker has had a rough start to life at Villa, suffering from a malleolar injury in February that kept him out until the middle of July as well as picking up a few other knocks. To add insult to those injuries when Hogan has been fit and playing he hasn’t fit into the system that Bruce has deployed in his Villa team.

Championship Review: Wolves delight as rivals stumble in unison

  Championship Review: Wolves delight as rivals stumble in unison Burton Albion's 3-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday was the result of the day as Wolves' rivals all stumbled in the Championship.Wolves will have looked on with glee as their three nearest rivals at the top of the Championship, Derby County, Bristol City and Cardiff City all slipped up on Monday.

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Hogan could be the answer to Villa’s striker problems this season if he was used correctly. He showed at Brentford that if he is given good service he will score.

Instead of lumping the ball up long Villa could play it along the ground and play the ball to Hogan’s feet or in behind the defence for him to run onto. Villa have shown they can play effectively this way with Hogan in the side in their 5-0 new years day destruction of Bristol City.

Steve Bruce believes that the reasons for Hogan’s goalscoring woes are due to the expectations of playing for a bigger club.

“I think it’s hard, no disrespect to Brentford, or Barnsley, but this is different to those clubs where there’s no real expectation, staying in the division is probably the expectation, with that they can flourish but when you come to Aston Villa you are under the pump, under the cosh, under the spotlight straight away.”

Interest in Alan Hutton is gathering pace

  Interest in Alan Hutton is gathering pace Aston Villa right back Alan Hutton is out of contract at Villa Park in the summer and interest in his services is building. The Birmingham Mail reports that newly appointed Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis is interested in a potential move for the player nicknamed the “Scottish Cafu” by the Villa faithful. They have also reported that Scottish side Aberdeen are also interested. Hutton has been at Villa for over six seasons. He has made over 150 appearances as well as having three loan spells away from Villa park at Nottingham Forrest, Bolton and Spanish side Mallorca. Hutton has been in and out of the Villa squad under different Villa managers but, since the appointment of Steve Bruce, he has become an integral member of the squad. He has been mostly deployed at right back but has successfully filled in at left back when he has been called upon. Hutton split opinions amongst the Villa faithful over the past few seasons but his recent performances have seen many fans join the Hutton fan club. There is a lot of competition for places at right back in this current Villa side with Alan Hutton, Ahmed Elmohamady, Ritchie De Laet and James Bree all fighting for a first team place. If the rumours of Hutton leaving Villa are true, it would make sense for the club to try and offload him in January where they can still command a fee for him. With Aston Villa being blessed with great depth at right back they wouldn’t necessarily need to bring in a direct replacement for him which could see him used to free up funds for investment elsewhere on the pitch.

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Aston Villa and Republic of Ireland' s Scott Hogan had endured a difficult goalscoring drought up until yesterday. After a record-breaking transfer that could see the fee rise to £15million, Hogan has only landed two goals for Steve Bruce' s side.

a close up of Steve Bruce: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images Sport © Nathan Stirk/Getty Images Sport Nathan Stirk/Getty Images Sport

Even if Hogan’s frustrating start to life at Villa is due to the pressures of playing for a bigger club, he hasn’t been helped by youngster Keinan Davis’ explosion into the first-team squad. Davis’ performances have kept Hogan out of the team which will be frustrating, to say the least.

With the January transfer window now open Hogan may well be considering his future as he goes in search of regular first-team football elsewhere.

If Hogan where to leave a potential replacement for Villa could be Lewis Grabban who has recently been recalled from his loan at Sunderland where he scored 12 goals.

Money is tight at Villa after a busy summer of spending so a loan move could be an option, however, Bournemouth may look to sell him permanently to raise funds for further deals.

Aston Villa v Middlesbrough - Sky Bet Championship © Nathan Stirk/Getty Images Sport Aston Villa v Middlesbrough - Sky Bet Championship

Villa keeping an eye on young Belgian midfielder .
According to a report in the Birmingham Mail, Aston Villa are keeping a close eye on Chievo Verona midfielder Samuel Bastien. The 21-year-old moved to the Serie A from Anderlecht back in 2016, and he has put in some impressive performances this season that have attracted plenty of admirers. Bastien, who has played four times for Belgium’s U21 international team, has been tipped for a very bright future. He would definitely be a welcomed addition to the Villa squad, but Bruce is hindered by Financial Fair Play regulations at the moment, so freeing up the necessary funds to finance a move for the talented midfielder will be a bit of an issue. The only way a move could happen is if there are one or two notable departure from Villa Park this month, but Bruce has already made it abundantly clear that his better players will be going nowhere this month. If Aston Villa were to make a move, they would face stiff competition from Premier League sides Bournemouth and Huddersfield, who are also reportedly very interested.


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