Everything you need to know about Adiene Guedioura and Jonathan Kodjia - former Wolves and Aston Villa men interested in following Slavisa Jokanovic to Sheffield United
New Sheffield United boss Slavisa Jokanovic is expected to make his mark on the Blades squad when he officially takes over next month.
Here, The Star profiles two players currently working with the Serb at Qatari club Al-Gharafa SC who we understand would be open to a move to Bramall Lane.
The first of two players linked is experienced 35-year-old central midfielder Adiene Guedioura, who will likely be familiar with Sheffield United fans having made more than 150 appearances in England’s top two divisions for Wolves, Nottingham Forest, Crystal Palace, Watford and Middlesbrough between 2009 and 2018.
He scored three goals in 13 starts for the Hornets when Jokanovic led them to a second placed finish in the 2014-15 Championship season and subsequently featured 21 times in the Premier League.
Having picked up Goal of the Season awards at three of his former clubs in England, Guedioura can certainly finish and while his career statistics show he isn’t prolific, he could still add some much-needed firepower to the Blades’ misfiring midfield.
The five most-picked players in United’s 3-5-2 system - George Baldock, John Lundstram, John Fleck, Oli Norwood and Enda Stevens - scored 17 goals between them in the 2019-20 season, yet the same five all failed to hit the back of the net in the last campaign.
Guedioura’s best career achievement is perhaps being named in the Team of the Tournament alongside fellow countryman Riyad Mahrez at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, which he won with Algeria.
Striker Kodja first made his mark in English football with Bristol City, scoring 20 goals in all competitions during his first season at Ashton Gate. That prolific form earned him a move to Aston Villa in 2016, who were in the midst of an extensive squad rebuild having themselves just been relegated from the Premier League.
He managed 19 goals in his first year at the club and, when fit, was a regular for the team in their three-season stay in the Championship. The Ivory Coast international’s goal contributions dried up somewhat after year one, but he has since rediscovered his goal-scoring form in Qatar’s top tier, with 19 goals in under 40 appearances.
Before England, the 31-year-old had spent all his career in the country of his birth, France, and was named Ligue 2 Player of the Year in 2015 after helping Angers reach the French top flight. He also made the division’s Team of the Season the same year.
Coincidentally, Kodjia found the back of the net for Ivory Coast against Guedioura’s Algeria at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in a game that finished 1-1 and featured Premier League regulars Mahrez and Wilfred Zaha on either side.
Since making his international debut in 2016, he has scored 11 goals for Côte d'Ivoire. Kodjia did make six appearances for Aston Villa in the Premier League in the 2019-20 campaign, but failed to score.
With six senior forwards already on the books at Bramall Lane, any potential move for Kodjia could be dependant on at least one departure.
United’s Scotland international Oli McBurnie has been linked with a move to Scottish champions Rangers.