There's nothing quite like a 6-1 loss to the reigning Premier League champions to highlight your club's need for a new striker.


Aston Villa were at their comedic worst in defence against Manchester City on Sunday - home fans were already walking out before half an hour had even been played - but Dean Smith's side didn't show anywhere near enough on the ball either.


Villa will likely be without summer signing Wesley for the remainder of the season, and it was Anwar El Ghazi who deputised for the injured Brazilian on Sunday.

Anwar El Ghazi

The Dutchman is sound technically. He can pass well and is very confident with the ball at his feet. But El Ghazi isn't a target man who can occupy defenders and bring his teammates into play - he isn't a Wesley.


It's bad enough for El Ghazi trying to play as the lone striker against most teams, but City's more than 65 per cent possession made his impact on the game even more important - and even more important when nothing came off.


Villa will get points off teams in and around them simply due to the individual quality they have on display and that might be enough to keep their heads above water, but the club will put themselves under unnecessary pressure if they don't bring in a new striker this month.

Wesley wasn't perfect. No one is trying to suggest that he was. But the 23-year-old has been a useful player against the big teams specifically, while his hold-up play has allowed Jack Grealish to be the star man against the rest.


Without the Brazil international against City, both El Ghazi and Grealish were isolated in attack and couldn't get themselves on the ball. Playing with a back three didn't help that either, as the visitors won (or, more accurately, were given) free reign in midfield.


Aston Villa's defence will grab the headlines on the back pages and rightly so. It was among the most self-destructive performances from a back-five that you'll be able to think of off the top of your head.

FBL-ENG-PR-ASTON VILLA-SOUTHAM PTON

But for the club to move forward and most importantly to stay in the Premier League beyond this season, signing a new striker is absolutely the most important thing for Aston Villa to do during the January transfer window.


Villa shouldn't limit their January spending to just a new striker because their defence desperately needs a facelift, but things won't improve in the West Midlands until a replacement forward is brought into the club.


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