Tanzania: Why Aston Villa Scouts Chose Mbwana Samatta

(File photo).

Aston Villa's search for a striker was a headache that Dean Smith had to come to terms with after Wesley's season-ending knee injury on New Year's Day. They had to find a replacement.

According to Birmingham Live, at one point Villa took to the field without a recognised centre-forward in recent cup and league matches.

It was here that Mbwana Samatta's name came into the equation as the man to add the goals Villa need to keep them in the Premier League.

With a fee £8.5 million being agreed deal for the striker, this was a bargain given the price tags that strikers carry these days especially in January window where many are not willing to leave their clubs.

But why did Villa's scouting team think Mbwana was the man to bring the glory days back to Birmingham team and keep them up in the league.

A report says, Samatta is currently 27 years-old which means that he is close to his peak, yet on the other hand, he appears ideally suited to contributing immediately to Villa's survival efforts.

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The 5ft 11ins striker is competent with both feet, fairly quick, and has improved considerably in the past two years.

He has made 28 appearances in all club competitions so far this season, scoring 10 times and registering two assists. Last year, he managed to make 51 appearances and scored and impressive 32 goals, with six assists also posted winning the golden boot.

The scouts report also showed that, Samatta is the type of player who's inclined to deliver at the business end of the pitch.

They argued that Samatta was the most capable striker in Belgium right now, with quite an all-round profile that is difficult to handle from an opposition perspective.

Samatta is a player who comes alive when tasked with scoring and contributing in and around the opposing penalty box. He's capable of finishing moves in a variety of different ways.

His heading ability is a particular asset that Liverpool defenders led by Vigil Van Dijk found had to deal with. He's found the net with three headers in the league this season, which is bettered by only one player.

Last season, he scored a total of seven with his head and again, that was eclipsed only one player who managed to notch eight.

His aerial prowess would be highly beneficial for Smith's team from set-pieces, and his physical presence permits him to hold up the ball effectively before bringing others into play, although he is perhaps more inclined to get on the end of through balls.

It was suggested that Once Wesley returns, the prospect of him playing alongside Samatta is exciting if Smith ever chose to set up that way.

Both are physical, energetic and capable of occupying defenders, meaning that they create space for Jack Grealish and co to work their magic.

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