This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…

Aston Villa managed to turn on the style in their final game before the international break as they thrashed Norwich City 5-1 at Carrow Road.

The west Midlands club were surprisingly rampant against the Canaries, considering they have managed just eight goals in the previous seven matches.

Club-record signing Wesley doubled his tally for the season by netting a brace while a trio of midfielders got their names on the scoresheet.

The Brazilian striker probably needed that to shut a few people up as doubts were beginning to creep in over whether he was a decent addition or much worse, a flop. The BBC even claimed he’d been slated by his own supporters.

This early-season criticism was quite harsh considering that the 22-year-old had never played in England prior to his move in the summer, so some time was definitely needed to adapt to such conditions.

The Premier League is barely comparable to that of the Belgian league, it’s more intense and physical compared to even some of the other top divisions around the world, which only emphasises the fact that a new player may need to be slowly integrated into it.

Now that the 6 foot 3 forward has hit four goals for the season, it would be wise to delve further into why the doubts were somewhat premature.

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In terms of the other ‘big money’ strikers that moved to the English top-flight this season, he’s actually outperforming the bunch.

Newcastle United signed Joelinton for a club-record fee in the region of £40m and he’s only returned one goal from eight appearances. Then there is Wolves’ Patrick Cutrone, who cost the club £16m and has also bagged just the one finish.

Is Neil Taylor’s form a worry?

Yes

Yes

No

No

The list continues on, and on with Brighton’s £16m man Neal Maupay netting three, Sheffield United’s one-goal forward Oli McBurnie, who cost £20m and Everton’s goalless £27.5m arrival Moise Kean.

Therefore, if anything, it seems Wesley is doing exactly what he should be – four goals in eight appearances is a goal every other game, which tends to be a pretty respectable return for a striker at the elite level.


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Lewis Blain