Villa boss Paul Lambert today warned Christian Benteke his place is under threat from £7m new-boy Libor Kozak.
The manager is ready to pair the strike duo but insisted Kozak could become the main man if Benteke slips up.
The Belgian hit 22 goals in his debut season to form a deadly strikeforce with Gabby Agbonlahor and Andi Weimann – and has three already this term.
But Lambert insisted Kozak, a deadline day signing from Lazio, is ready to steal Benteke’s place.
He said: “You have to keep Christian on his toes. As soon as you don’t look over your shoulder as a footballer you become complacent.
“I have to keep Christian playing with that little bit of fear that somebody might come in and take his place.
“The two of them (Kozak and Benteke) can play with each other, no problem. They would be a handful. He gives us options.”
Kozak was the sixth foreign summer arrival with Lambert raiding Europe for new talent and keeper Jed Steer the only home-grown player, signing from Norwich. Denmark internationals Nicklas Helenius and Jores Okore joined with Dutchman Leandro Bacuna, Spaniard Antonio Luna and Bulgaria star Aleksandar Tonev also signing.