If Rudy Gestede passes the Aston Villa medical he is reported to be undertaking in the coming days, Tim Sherwood may have just pulled off a masterstroke in the summer transfer window.
Having received £32.5m for striking talisman Christian Benteke earlier in the off-season, the former Tottenham Hotspur manager has landed a deal to sign one of the closest imitations in England to the Belgian brute, at a snip of a price.
Benteke-types like Romelu Lukaku, Harry Kane, Diego Costa and Olivier Giroud were all out of Villa’s reach, but in dropping to the Championship to sign Gestede, the Midlands club have found a player that fits the new Liverpool man’s profile for just £6m.
The Blackburn Rovers man is as powerful as Benteke and feeds off aerial balls into the box just as much as the 24-year-old. In theory then, Gestede is the perfect move for Sherwood to make.
That price tag makes the move all the more pleasing for Villans fans. In keeping the fee below £10m, the club can afford for the French-born Benin international to fail, without him being chastised as a costly flop. Should he transfer his playing style into the top flight though, then they stand to make another handsome profit.
His scoring record in the Championship – 39 goals in 118 appearances for both Cardiff City and Rovers – is inferior to Benteke’s top-flight numbers, but the Belgian’s stats are padded by an abnormally productive first term in the division.
The 19 league goals Benteke scored in his maiden Villa campaign remain his highest career haul. In the two seasons following that he scored 10 and 13 goals respectively and has only recorded two other double-figure league tallies in his career.
So, despite being the pivotal player in Aston Villa’s squad, the fact remains that his goal returns in two of his three seasons there are easily replicable.
Gestede notched 20 times in the Championship for Rovers last term, bagging 12 more in 21 games while on loan at Ewood Park the season prior.
Those figures show the 26-year-old is capable in front of goal given the right service and, having ingrained themselves on providing similar support to Benteke, should find Aston Villa more than capable of providing it.
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