Name: Jonathan Kodjia
Date of Birth: 22/10/1989
Previous clubs: Stade Reims, Cherbourg (L), Amiens (L), Caen (L), Angers, Bristol City.
Apps (goals): 155 (58)
The pressure was immediately on Jonathan Kodjia from the very start of his Aston Villa career following his move from fellow Championship side Bristol City last summer owing to the reported initial £11million fee that the club parted with to sign the striker, which could eventually rise to £15million with add-ons.
With there being a real danger that Villa could have found themselves in a scrap at the bottom end of the division after their abysmal showing in the Premier League last season, Kodjia`s goals have helped the side to 11th in the table, during what has been another successful season in front of goal for the forward.
His move to Ashton Gate for a £2million fee from French football in July 2015 came on the back of having been named the Ligue 2 Player of the Year after his Angers SCO side won promotion to the top flight, and he became an instant fan favourite as he notched 20 goals last term for the newly-promoted Robins.
That form goal scoring return prompted former Villa boss Roberto Di Matteo to bring the Ivory Coast international to the Midlands club, a move that has worked in stark contrast to the fellow big money signing of Ross McCormack, who finds himself on loan at Nottingham Forest after falling out of favour.
Only four players in the Championship have netted more than Kodjia this campaign, who has notched 17 in 31 league games, six of those coming in his last six outings, the most recent a brace at the weekend to give Steve Bruce`s men a 2-0 win at home to Norwich, making it three wins on the spin and six in seven.
He has already won the PFA Championship Player of the month this season, picking up the award for November, and is in with a strong shout of being nominated for March after a return of five goals in five games, proving last season was no fluke, with his record in the Championship just shy of one in two.
He turned from villain to hero for his side when the club visited Loftus Road just before Christmas, as he saw a first-half penalty saved by Alex Smithies with the score still goalless, but he redeemed himself 15 minutes from time by firing low under the Rangers goalkeeper to secure all three points in a 1-0 win.
His departure from the side for the first three league games of the new year due to the African Cup of Nations proved a big blow for the club, with two defeats and a draw in his absence the start of a seven-match run without a win, six of which ended in a loss, realistically ending their chances of a top six finish.
In an attempt to take some of the burden of the burden off Kodjia in attack, Bruce brought in the much-coveted Brentford striker Scott Hogan on the final day of the winter transfer window, but Kodjia remains the main man, with Hogan making a slow start to his Villa career, scoring once in his first six matches.
With pace, strength and a keen eye for goal, interest from the Premier League could come his way in the summer, and at 27 years of age, it is a stage he`ll want to be on before long, but if Bruce wants to oversee a promotion charge next season, it is imperative that the club keep hold of their leading marksman.
One to Watch – Jonathan Kodjia
Name: Jonathan Kodjia