Islam Slimani reportedly turned down a move to Aston Villa last month because of the club’s status in the Premier League.
According to the Daily Express, the Leicester City-owned striker, currently on loan at AS Monaco, was a top target for the Villans. However, the publication states that he was unwilling to ditch Ligue 1 for a relegation battle.
Slimani has posted decent numbers this season, scoring eight and assisting another seven in French football’s top division, so missing out on him may have come as a disappointment to Dean Smith. It is not the end of the world, though, with Villa still managing to get some important business done.
They were in the market for a new centre-forward following the long-term injury Wesley picked up and, albeit it was not Slimani in the end, managed to acquire just that after signing Mbwana Samatta from Genk. The 27-year-old has even gone on to make an instant impact, showing that he could be the man to help Villa get out of this mess.
Though it ended in defeat, he still managed to score on his league debut against Bournemouth and win an impressive five aerial duels on the day (via WhoScored). In that Villa side, only Kortney Hause (seven) made more, highlighting the aerial prowess that Samatta could bring to the table.
The Midlands club also managed to land Borja Baston on a free transfer from Swansea City, giving Smith at the very least another body in attack.
Furthermore, with fresh faces brought in to fill the void left by Wesley, Slimani’s snub is hardly catastrophic.
Aston Villa fans, disappointed to miss out on Slimani or are you happy with Samatta and Baston? Let us know in the comment section below!
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