After scoring just eleven goals in 20 Premier League games so far, Aston Villa are undoubtedly in desperate need for somebody to put the ball in the back of the net at Villa Park.
Villa’s poor goal return is the worst in league by quite a considerable distance – the second worst is Sean Dyche’s Burnley on 17 – six more than the Villans. Paul Lambert’s side, who have already gone five games without scoring a goal earlier in the season, have failed to hit the net in their last four Premier League outings, and they could only manage a 1-0 FA Cup third round win over the Championship’s bottom-placed club Blackpool last weekend.
Despite their poor form in front of goal, Villa currently sit in 12th position in the Premier League table – and Lambert’s’ side have earned three impressive 1-0 away wins at Stoke City, Liverpool and Crystal Palace respectively. But on the flip side, Villa have only secured two home league wins all season – which were a 2-1 victory against Hull City in August, and then another 2-1 win against Leicester City last month. Another concerning fact for the Midlands club is that they haven’t scored more than two goals in any game this term.
So what seems to be the problem in front of goal for Aston Villa this season? Well for a start, Christian Benteke’s injury, which kept him out of the first two months of the season, hasn’t helped Paul Lambert’s cause. Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann both join the Belgian international on three goals this term, and outcast Darren Bent, who recently spent a month on-loan at Brighton, has just joined up with Steve McClaren’s Derby County for the remainder of the campaign.
It’s obvious to see that Paul Lambert must dip into the transfer market to bring in a striker who can play up top with star man Christian Benteke. To be fair to the Villa boss, since arriving at Villa Park in 2012 he has had to cope with a very thin transfer budget. The former Norwich boss has had to rely on his youth players to come through the ranks and make the grade – as well as an influx of free transfers and low budget buys. According to the Telegraph, Lambert’s hopes of signing Manchester City winger Scott Sinclair were dealt a huge blow due to the price tag City have slapped on him.
You can’t blame the Aston Villa fans for being concerned with the lack of transfer activity at Villa Park. Most Premier League clubs are making noise in the January transfer window, yet the only rumours at Villa Park are suggestions of skipper Ron Vlaar leaving the club.
Aston Villa face an extremely difficult month with games against Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea all approaching. If they can keep Benteke fit and manage to add a striker before the window slams shut then you have to fancy the Villans’ chances of keeping their Premier League status.
But if they don’t, the Villa Park faithful could be set for a very worrying second half of the season.