In Focus: Aston Villa target Crouch would struggle to dislodge Kodjia

According to reports in The Sun, Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce wants Stoke City striker Peter Crouch to be his next big-money signing following the addition of John Terry last week.

What’s the verdict, then?

Well, Bruce is looking to strengthen his side for a promotion push next season as the club look to secure a return to the Premier League following a disappointing 13th-place finish in the Championship last term.

Villa have already snapped up former Chelsea captain Terry and now they hope that Crouch will join him with the offer of regular first team football on the table.

However, he may not come cheap as The Sun says he isn’t willing to take a pay cut on his current £4m-a-year deal at the Britannia Stadium.

How did he do at Stoke last season?

The 36-year-old scored 10 goals and provided a further four assists in 30 appearances in all competitions, which is a pretty good record considering he started most of those on the substitutes’ bench.

Crouch will know that he is perhaps set for even less football next term under Mark Hughes though, and may consider leaving to get more time on the pitch during the twilight years of his career.

Would he be a good signing for Villa?

He certainly would be.

Crouch struggled during a previous spell with Villa between 2002 and 2004 – scoring six goals in 43 appearances in all competitions – but he has all of the right attributes to be a hit in the Championship right now.

His strength in the air will be a useful tool both from an attacking and defensive point of view, while he is almost certainly guaranteed to get goals at that level.

Would he play with Kodjia?

It’s difficult to say.

Villa spent much of last season playing with Jonathan Kodjia as the only striker on the pitch and following an outstanding campaign for the Ivory Coast international, it’s hard to see him getting dropped for Crouch.

Whether Bruce would be willing to play both is unclear, but it is certainly something to think about for Crouch if he wants to be playing more.

What’s the verdict, then?

Well, there is little doubt that Bruce and Villa would be interested in Crouch, and that the striker may well be willing to link up with Terry for more regular playing time, but it remains to be seen whether he would be a guaranteed starter at Villa Park.

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