Villa could become relegation candidates without a prolific goalscorer
Bringing in a prolific goalscorer is likely to be the chief target at Aston Villa in the January transfer window as the team wasted a hatful of decent chances in their 2-0 defeat at Blackburn.
Attacking midfielders Stewart Downing, Marc Albrighton and Ashley Young have been Villa’s main source of goals this season, with no striker at the club scoring more than a single league goal in the 14 games so far.
This lack of goals and a general ability to hold onto leads has seen Houllier’s side slip to within three points of the relegation zone and with some difficult fixtures coming up in the near future, there is a strong case that they may fall further down the standings.
Villa’s betting odds are 25/1 to be relegated from the Premier League this season and key will be finding someone to hit the target on a relatively regular basis.
Although Houllier is welcoming back Gabby Agbonlahor to full fitness, he is unlikely to score enough goals single-handedly if Villa are to move into the top half of the table.
Agbonlahor did enjoy his best scoring season during the last campaign, bur still only managed 13 goals.
Meanwhile, John Carew and Emile Heskey are not noted for their scoring records and Nathan Delfouneso lacks the experience at present to handle the mantle of being the club’s leading marksman.
Houllier’s search for a clinical finisher is likely to take him back to his French roots, with three or four names already mentioned as possible New Year arrivals at Villa Park.
Top of the shortlist is Paris St-Germain’s Guillaume Hoarau, who could be the rounded striker that Villa require to fit their formation of one player in attack.
More ambitiously, Villa have been linked with Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, while there has been speculation that Houllier will link up with Michael Owen again, after the pair’s previous alliance at Liverpool.
Wolves and West Ham are currently joint bottom in the Premier League and are 8/13 and 4/6 respectively to be relegated this season. See the full Premier League relegation football betting odds market.