Aston Villa are currently on the hunt for strikers, as indicated by The Athletic linking them with Islam Slimani and Christian Benteke.
However, they have had little luck in their search so far, which will be especially frustrating considering Keinan Davis and Wesley are injured, while Jonathan Kodjia’s exit still hasn’t been ruled out.
This saw Dean Smith playing a starting XI against Manchester City that didn’t feature a recognised striker, with 18-year-old Indiana Vassilev the only one on the bench.
While they are scrambling around for a striker to bring in, Villa may afford themselves a couple of seconds to reminisce about the summer, when they could have signed Neal Maupay.
In October, Dean Smith spoke about missing out on that deal, as reported by The Birmingham Mail: “Neal was a lad I brought into Brentford, I think it was for £2million. He spent a couple of seasons with us.
“He’s a good lad who I get on really well with, a good player but, again, the market value of the players was growing and growing. I felt we had to walk [away] as a football club at the stage it got to. He ended up going to Brighton and good luck to him.”
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While Wesley struggled, enduring a 12-game goal drought before eventually getting injured, Maupay has thrived since moving to the Premier League.
So far, from 18 Premier League starts and four substitute appearances, he has scored seven goals in total, adding one assist.
That tally includes an impressive three-game run, in which he scored against Arsenal and Wolverhampton Wanderers, before finishing it off with another strike against rivals Crystal Palace.
Considering the difference in fortunes, anyone at Villa could be forgiven for feeling jealous of Brighton about their acquisition of the 23-year-old, while they continue to endure their issues up front.