Scott Hogan signed for Villa in January 2017 for around £9.5 million and has struggled to hit the goalscoring hight’s that he hit during his time at Brentford, since swapping Griffin Park for Villa Park.
Hogan scored 21 league goals in 33 appearances for Brentford and his scintillating form had Premier League suitors West Ham sniffing around, but since he made his move to Villa he hasn’t come close to a return of that level.
The striker has had a rough start to life at Villa, suffering from a malleolar injury in February that kept him out until the middle of July as well as picking up a few other knocks. To add insult to those injuries when Hogan has been fit and playing he hasn’t fit into the system that Bruce has deployed in his Villa team.
Hogan could be the answer to Villa’s striker problems this season if he was used correctly. He showed at Brentford that if he is given good service he will score.
Instead of lumping the ball up long Villa could play it along the ground and play the ball to Hogan’s feet or in behind the defence for him to run onto. Villa have shown they can play effectively this way with Hogan in the side in their 5-0 new years day destruction of Bristol City.
Steve Bruce believes that the reasons for Hogan’s goalscoring woes are due to the expectations of playing for a bigger club.
I think it’s hard, no disrespect to Brentford, or Barnsley, but this is different to those clubs where there’s no real expectation, staying in the division is probably the expectation, with that they can flourish but when you come to Aston Villa you are under the pump, under the cosh, under the spotlight straight away.
Even if Hogan’s frustrating start to life at Villa is due to the pressures of playing for a bigger club, he hasn’t been helped by youngster Keinan Davis’ explosion into the first-team squad. Davis’ performances have kept Hogan out of the team which will be frustrating, to say the least.
With the January transfer window now open Hogan may well be considering his future as he goes in search of regular first-team football elsewhere.
If Hogan where to leave a potential replacement for Villa could be Lewis Grabban who has recently been recalled from his loan at Sunderland where he scored 12 goals.
Money is tight at Villa after a busy summer of spending so a loan move could be an option, however, Bournemouth may look to sell him permanently to raise funds for further deals.