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Villa had a lucky escape with “enormously talented” flop, he’s far worse than Samatta – opinion

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Aston Villa dodged a major bullet in the summer transfer window by not signing Leicester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho.

What was the story?

A report from All Nigeria Soccer back in late July suggested that both Villa and newly-promoted West Brom had joined the race to sign the striker.

It was claimed that Dean Smith’s side were keen for attacking reinforcements, particularly after the disappointing start of Mbwana Samatta. And, it was also revealed that Iheanacho himself would have been appealed by a move to either Villa or West Brom because he wouldn’t have needed to move house.

Are you relieved Villa didn’t sign Iheanacho in the summer?

Yes, 100%!

No, he’d have been good for us!

No, he'd have been good for us!

In the end, the Nigeria international stayed put at the King Power Stadium, whilst Villa ended up signing Brentford’s Ollie Watkins.

Worse than Samatta

After Leicester shelled out a reported £25m to sign Iheanacho from Manchester City, then Foxes boss Craig Shakespeare made it clear that he felt they had landed a major coup.

He said: “It’s a great signing for us. Kelechi is an enormously talented player that has shown a huge amount of promise at every level in which he’s played. We’ve tracked his progress for some time, so we know how much quality he’ll bring to the squad. He’s young, he’s hungry, he’s ready for the next stage of his development and I’m delighted that will be with Leicester City.”

Since then however, the Nigerian has struggled to live up to expectations, managing just 21 goals in 94 games. To put that into context, he matched that same amount of strikes in exactly 30 games less at the Etihad.


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And when you look at how he fares compared to Samatta – now on loan at Turkish giants Fenerbahce –  then it’s clear Villa dodged a bullet. As per Whoscored, Iheanacho has a career average of just 1.1 shots, 0.6 key passes and 0.5 dribbles per game, whilst Samatta has managed 1.7 shots, 0.6 key passes and 0.9 dribbles per match.

Neither have been the most prolific of goal-scorers, with them both not being able to reach double figures in a league campaign. Villa signing Iheanacho would have landed them someone even worse than what they already had on their hands.

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