Ivory Coast’s Jonathan Kodjia joins Qatari side Al Gharafa

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- Yasmine El Tohamy - (Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images)

Ivory Coast international Jonathan Kodjia has joined Qatar’s Stars League side Al Gharafa coming from Aston Villa.

Kodjia is believed to have joined Al Gharafa for a reputed £2.5million fee, six months before his contract with the Villans expires. This move comes just as the Premier League side have been linked with Tanzania international and KRC Genk striker Mbwana Samatta.

Al Gharafa currently sit fourth in the Qatar Stars League with 21 points, just one point away from the top three. He might make his debut next Thursday when they host second-placed Al-Rayyan.

The 30-year-old joined Aston Villa in 2016 while they were in the Championship coming from Bristol City. He made a total of 106 appearances across all competitions scoring 39 and providing nine assists.

His first season with the Birmingham-based side was by far his most successful as he directly contributed to 21 goals in 40 games as Aston Villa finished 13th.

Photo: Omar Zoheiry/dpa (Photo by Omar Zoheiry/picture alliance via Getty Images)

The former Angers player then sustained an ankle injury in the final game of the season against Brighton, whick kept him on the sidelines for the majority of the following season.

The injury clearly affected his performances as he was becoming less prolific infront of goal throughout the 2018/2019 season but still managed to help Aston Villa secure promotion to the Premier League.

This season Kodjia made just nine appearances and found the back of the net on just two occasions against Liverpool in the EFL Cup.

Since being promoted to Reims’ first team back in 2008, Kodjia became somewhat of a journey man as he played for seven teams in France and England. He also guided Angers to the Ligue 1 in 2015 as he scored 16 goals in 28 league games.

On the international level, the French-born received 21 caps for Ivory Coast scoring nine and providing two assists. He was also part of their squad during the 2019 AFCON when they were knocked out in the quarter-finals.

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