The Agbonlahor drama seems set to continue with reports on the ‘The Daily Mail‘ that his former boss Martin O’Neil is planning a double swoop for the £7m rated striker along with veteran team-mate Richard Dunne.
With the Black Cats struggling in-front of goal this season and on-loan Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner failing to make an impact and set to return at the end of the season, O’Neil is on the search for a striker with proven a Premiership pedigree.
Managers plundering their former clubs for talent is obviously nothing new. On the whole it usually seems to work well. There is generally already a respect and relationship present which would have to be developed with a unknown signing.
With Agbonlahor, O’Neil knows that he is getting a goalscoring talent. Unfortunately for Bendtner he has never seemed to fully get to grips with the style of football in the Premiership. Not so with Agbonlahor. However he has had problems with consistency, with only one goal for Villa since November.
O’Neal will be hoping that under his stewardship the 25 year old can find his goalscoring sharpness. Having worked with him before he must see some potential. But even when O’Neil was at Villa, Agbonlahor had issues with consistency. In the 08/09 and 09/10 seasons he only netted twelve and thirteen goals respectively. This hardly seems enough of a return for a £7m investment.
The potential Agbonlahor has is there for all to see and if O’Neil can smooth off the rough edges and turn potential into fruition then £7m will seem like a bargain. That ‘s a big ‘if’, but the fact that most Villa fans would be extremely hesitent to bid Agbonlahor farewell is a tell tale sign also.
Richard Dunne also seems like an interesting move for O’Neil. With the mounting injury problems in defence suffered by Sunderland, it seems that the purchase of a centre back is the sensible order of the day.
Dunne is experienced and hardworking and still seems to have the ability to perform at the highest level. At 32 years old though, it would be fair to say that he is in the twilight of his career and isn’t going to be a long term solution.
O’Neil is no fool and seems to be able to motivate his players to perform to a level that many managers find difficult. He has a no nonesense reputation and one would expect any player considering a move to a club managed by O’Neil would know what is expected of them.
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