The biggest issue is that his scoring record against top 6 teams was very poor. In 48 games against top 6 sides (including the 2 play offs vs Villa), he failed to score in 46 of those games.
He has enough physicality to score against poor champ defenders. But the better ones don't fall over when nudged and concentrate, he doesn't have any technique to create space for himself against those good defenders.
Even without his injury he would never have been a prem quality player
I get that, but for most strikers their scoring record is, we get less of the ball, create less chances, the defenders and keeper are better etc.
I don't think slightly lesser level defenders are much weaker, I think it's more that we got easily nullified against the better teams and they could afford to mark him better as we were not committing other players as much.
It doesn't matter how strong the defender is if the striker can find space and there's balls still going into the box (the right balls) etc.
We know we've lacked creativity for years, and when we have had it, it's only been from one side or one player, and we've always geared to use that one player (like with Traore/ Jones etc). If those get nullified our strikers don't score, no striker would unless they can pick the ball up deep, beat three men and leather it into the net, which championship strikers don't really do.
It's still not easy scoring against poorer teams, playing for a defensive/ less creative side.
I never said he was a prem level player, but he didn't need to be as that's not his job.