In the 2016/17 Championship campaign, Aston Villa were sat in 14th position after winning eight and drawing 12 of their first 28 matches.
Having just been relegated from the Premier League, the transition between the two divisions had taken its toll on Villa who were some way off a promotion push.
With the January transfer window coming to a close, Steve Bruce was still in the hunt for reinforcements.
Goals had been a problem for Villa up until that point, having scored just 28 in 28 games – the joint third lowest in the division.
And having averaged just one goal per game, a striker was the priority.
After a 3-0 defeat to Brentford on January 31, 2017, the club announced their newest addition.
Scott Hogan was signed, ironically from that evening’s victors, on a four-and-a-half year deal.
The striker had scored 14 goals for the Bees, and Bruce had earmarked the striker as his number one target during the winter window, and he got his man.
— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) January 31, 2017
Despite the club’s fan’s issue with the timing of the announcement, there was general positivity around the capture of Hogan from their divisional rivals.
got a good scoring record this season,so we will soon put paid to that.
— Craig Curtis (@curtlyboy73) February 1, 2017
— Tom Wainwright (@Wainwright6Avfc) January 31, 2017
WE'VE NEEDED THIS BEAUTYYYYY
— Dylan Waters (@DylanWaters247) January 31, 2017
— Mark Healing (@mark_healing) January 31, 2017
— AV (@JxshAV_) January 31, 2017
Hogan made his Villa debut in the 2-1 defeat away at Nottingham Forest on February 4, 2017.
It took him until his fifth appearances for him to score his first goal.
That came in a 2–0 win over Wigan Athletic on March 18, 2017, which would prove to be the only goal he scored during the 13 appearances he made during the second half of the 2016/17 season.
Hoping to push on and find the early season form he had with Brentford the year before, Hogan’s first six months at Villa were something he wanted to improve on.
Having had an injury and form-affected first half of the 2017/18 season, he regularly featured during the second half of the campaign to finish with nine goals in 41 matches, which was still a far cry from his goalscoring form the season prior.
The 26-year-old has been plagued with injuries since his winter arrival at Villa Park which have limited his involvement and his ability to impact matches.
But with last season’s improved stats on the pitch, Hogan would be spending more time off it having picked up a groin injury, missing all of the 2018/19 pre-season and the start of the campaign, too.
Bruce had added the forward, but with the injuries and lack of form, the system at Villa Park was also affecting the striker’s style of play.
It was not the best 18 months for Hogan at Villa, but there has been a change in the wind, and a new manager has been appointed after the dismissal of Bruce.
The striker’s former Brentford manager Dean Smith has since been appointed the club’s head coach in a move that would have surely delighted the former Bees man.
Hogan could have a new lease of life under Smith and being fit again and raring to go; Villa fans could finally see what all the fuss was about when he initially signed.
The welcome was positive, but the Villa Park faithful are yet to see the best of Hogan, but they will surely be hoping that good form is forthcoming under their new boss.