Date: 17th December 2018 at 7:14pm
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Axel Tuanzebe was full of praise for Jonathan Kodjia after Aston Villa’s 2-2 draw with Stoke City, calling the “great guy” a “top player”. Kodjia came off the bench to win a penalty that cancelled out Joe Allen’s opening goal and scored himself to cancel out Benik Afobe’s penalty.

The 29-year-old is second in the Villa scoring charts this season with six goals from 15 Championship starts. In addition to being backup for Tammy Abraham up front, he’s played in a less familiar left-wing role under former manager Steve Bruce and Dean Smith but is slowly getting accustomed to the change.

Kodjia isn’t commanding a starting place of late, with the Ivorian international having come off the bench in his last three Championship appearances, but he’s still making a positive impact in games and Tuanzebe believes Villa are blessed with having such a talent at their disposal.

The centre-back told AVTV: “Kodj is top quality – a great player to be able to bring off the bench. The squad this season has got good players on the bench ready to come on.  Obviously Kodj came on and you can just see the impact he’s made. He’s made one and scored one.

“As well as his ability on the pitch, he’s just a good man, too – a great guy. He’s always smiling, always wanting to perform and always wanting to help the team”. Kodjia’s influence helped Villa pick up a point which left them eighth in the Championship table with 33 points from 22 games, extending their unbeaten run to seven matches.

They next face Leeds United on December 23 which could see them move within touching distance of the playoffs if other results go their way.

Crippy Cooke’s previous article

There’s ‘a possibility’ Villa could sign 21-year-old, ‘priorities remain’ signing a left-back

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