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Aston Villa's Dean Smith keen to sign another striker

By Matt Maher | Aston Villa | Published:

Villa remain confident of adding another striker before the transfer window closes a week today.

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith (Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

New signing Mbwana Samatta trained with Dean Smith’s squad for the first time yesterday following his £8.5million move from Genk.

But Smith, who has been operating without a recognised senior striker since record signing Wesley suffered a season-ending knee injury, is still keen to add further firepower.

That is now the focus of the club’s work as the January window enters the final week.

Villa were keen on Islam Slimani, but a deal to loan the Leicester striker – who has spent the first half of the season with Monaco – remains complex.

Resurrecting a move for Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud, meanwhile, appears unlikely – despite the potential collapse of the France international’s proposed move to Inter Milan. Villa would only be able to sign Giroud on a permanent deal because they have already loaned in Danny Drinkwater from Chelsea.

Samatta, who had been awaiting a work permit, could make his debut in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final against Leicester City.

The 27-year-old Tanzania international has not played since Boxing Day, with his move to England having coincided with the Belgian League’s winter break. Villa have started their last four matches without a recognised striker on the pitch.

“We’ll see how he trains leading into the cup semi-final,” said Smith. “He has had his winter break with Genk, but he seems fit.

“He has been doing some work at the hotel while he has been waiting for all the paperwork. He has been given a fitness programme. We are still looking to recruit another centre-forward as well.”

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher
@mjmarr_star

Chief sports writer for the Express & Star.

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