Mbwana Samatta joined Aston Villa for over $10m from Genk FC in Belgium in January as the first Tanzanian to play in the EPL. Let’s take a look at why Aston Villa spent the money, and how he may fit into your fantasy team.
By the Numbers
At mid-season at Genk in Belgium, Samatta had 7 goals in 20 league games, plus 3 goals in 6 games during Champions League play. He has no assists to date for the season. Not a bad set of stats, but nothing compared to his previous season. In 2018-19, he scored 23 times in 38 league games, plus 5 assists. And in the UEFA he had 9 scores in 12. That’s a lot of goals. He also seems to like the big stage, and maybe the EPL gives him that.
You can see from the highlight video that he can score in different ways and puts himself in some good spaces, often deep into the box. It seems like he’s a bit of a poacher, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
He certainly started at Villa with a bang. Here is his score in his opening game for the Villains, a classic poacher goal in the 2-1 loss at Bournemouth. He simply wanted it more.
Fantasy Value as THE Aston Villa Striker
I think there is some real value here, especially at $1.05 in Fantrax right now.
Jack Grealish is a player who can provide service, and I don’t think we should understate how important this is. Samatta seems like a player who needs that service, and Grealish has been gold this year. This pairing is potentially also a bonus for Grealish if Samatta can be a consistent scorer going forward.
Aston Villa sit mid-table in terms of scoring (sadly for Gunners’ fans, with the same number of goals as Arsenal). The Villains have been shut out only 5 times this season, having 7 players with 3 or more goals. While Grealish and Anwar El Ghazi are listed in Fantrax at both midfield and forward, only Wesley is (or was) the true forward given any real playing time — but he has been injured and ineffective. Wesley was also brought in from Belgium, but he came with about half the goals. This leaves a gaping hole that Samatta has the skills and ability to fill.
Aston Villa spent $11m on him, so I think they are going to give him the opportunity to claim the role. Plus, what other options do they really have? Aston Villa did nothing to improve the worst defense in the league, so they are going to need more goals to avoid relegation. Villa have lost 7 games by one goal while drawing 4 times. An extra goal here or there will provide points they desperately need. A true goal scorer could be the difference between regelation and staying up.
Certainly only time will tell, but I’m in early on him. It’s the time of the year when the best fantasy players come at a premium, and a player with his potential frees up the cash I’m looking for to spend big where needed elsewhere.
What do you think of the new Aston Villa forward? Will you find room for Samatta in your fantasy team? (His next three fixtures are Tottenham, Southampton; and Manchester City) Is there someone else you like better? Or do you simply have no room (who are your forwards with whom you dare not part)?