Aston Villa are in serious danger of relegation just a season after returning to the Premier League. With an ACL injury to summer signing Wesley Moraes ruling him out for the rest of the season and John Mcginn injured for at least a couple months, it looks bleak in front of goal for the Villans. Jack Grealish, as good as he is, can’t do it alone. So they’ve looked towards Mbwana Samatta to help them survive the drop.
Sky Sports reported earlier this week that the West Midlands side were closing in on a deal for the striker. It’s now official for a fee of around £10 million. The Genk forward had been subject of interest from multiple clubs in the last two windows. Fellow Premier League clubs Brighton and Watford were interested in him in the summer. Villa have managed to get Samatta for a reasonable fee.
So who is the Tanzanian striker and can he provide Villa with the firepower to survive relegation? We’ll give you the run down:
Samatta had an excellent 2018/19 season for the Belgian side. An impressive 32 goals in just 51 appearances was why the likes of Watford, Galatasary and Brighton were keeping their eye on him. 3 of these goals were in the Champions League, alongside 5 assists in the Belgian Pro League. 2019/20 has started off slower for the former Mazembe striker with 7 in 20 games domestically. It’s still a decent tally thus far.
Mbwana Samatta – Style of Play
At 5ft 11, the Tanzania international is brilliant in the air. Although not the tallest on the pitch, he rises to the ball like a salmon multiple times in the video. From set pieces especially, the power he generates on the headers as well as direction make them impossible to save. Great technique combined with a spring in his step.
Samatta strikes me as an intelligent player from the video too. The way he chose to head down the ball to assist the teammate in one of the clips knowing that he wouldn’t be able to generate enough power to beat the keeper from the cross suggests that. On top of that, his vision is good for a striker. Some of the passes he slips in to his teammates make him almost like a playmaker in some instances. It’s that intelligence that can sometimes win a game over raw pace and strength.
But most importantly of all, the 27 year old looks like a great finisher. The composure with which he takes some of the shots in the video means they’re placed perfectly to beat the keeper. Alongside that he has a striker’s instinct with some of the first time shots he takes that find the back of the net. How he caught that first time volley on the swivel, world class. Samatta’s movement also ties in to why I think he’s intelligent player that reads the game well. The positioning for some of the headers and goals in the box, it’s exactly what you want from a striker.
Is he what Villa need?
Perhaps the pace of the Premier League compared to Belgium might take him by surprise at first. However Mbwana Samatta could thrive for Aston Villa. He’s 27 and approaching his prime, finally set to get the big move of his career. They’re crying out for a striker and for £10.5 million, it could prove to be shrewd signing. Especially if he can keep them up.
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