This summer will see many clubs trying frantically to hold onto their stars, and Aston Villa are no different. They are aiming to ward off interest from former boss Martin O’Neill at Sunderland by slapping an unrealistic £12m price tag on their 25-year-old striker Gabriel Agbonlahor.
The Daily Mirror revealed last month that new Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill was keen on his former Villa striker but reports in the Mirror today suggest any deal could now be as dead as the proverbial Dodo.
O’Neill will almost certainly be in the market for a new striker with Nicklas Bendtner’s loan from Arsenal coming to an end and the very unlikely return of Asamoan Gyan from playing in front of a packed out crowd of 400! Wow!
But now it seems, although O’Neill obviously rates Agbonlahor, he doesn’t feel he’s worth £12m and neither do I. The Villa ‘hit-man’ has scored just once since November and has never been a prolific goal-scorer who a team would pin their goalscoring hopes on.
Despite being only 25 the Villa strikers career has stalled in recent years, somewhat down to injury but maybe he reached his peak at an early age.
In Gabby’s defence, strikers rarely flourish under Alex McLeish with Kevin Phillips once claiming – during his time at Birmingham – that the strikers rarely got to shoot in training.
Agbonlahor did perform well under O’Neill at Villa and the Irishman has a history of getting the best out of players and does have a lot of pace and lets face it Theo Walcott has made an INTERNATIONAL career out of pace.
For £12m Sunderland could land a better goalscorer than Agbonlahor and I see this as a ploy by Villa to attempt to ward of the interest but their resolve may be tested if Sunderland table an acceptable offer.
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