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Report: Aston Villa striker Agbonlahor considering MLS move

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A long-time English goalscorer looks to be ready to pursue new endeavors next year.

The Telegraph is reporting that veteran Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor will likely leave the club at the end of the 2017/18 season, even if the Villans are promoted back to the top flight of English soccer.

Agbonlahor spent many of his professional years with Villa during their PL stay, but since the team’s fall to the Championship, the Englishman has struggled to find any goalscoring rhythm.

In his two seasons in the second-tier, Agbonlahor has only managed to score twice across all competitions, and has seen his playing time dwindle down significantly.

The report suggests that Agbonlahor’s time is almost certainly up at Villa after the dip in form, and a move to Major League Soccer could be in the cards as he aims to revitalize his career.

The 31-year-old has spent 17 years at Villa, including his days with the club’s youth academy.

Agbonlahor quits as captain of relegated Aston Villa

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BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) Gabby Agbonlahor has quit as Aston Villa captain and apologized for his off-field conduct.

The forward was pictured in a newspaper with what look like nitrous oxide – or laughing gas – canisters on the same night that Aston Villa’s relegation was confirmed after losing to Manchester United this month.

Villa announced that Agbonlahor’s suspension from the club has been lifted, while he has been fined.

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Agbonlahor wrote on his Instagram account: “I am stepping down as club captain with immediate effect, as I do not deserve to carry out such a role anymore … it hurts to have lost it.”

Agbonlahor is Villa’s longest serving current player and their record English Premier League goal-scorer, having netted 73 times since his debut in 2006.

Aston Villa veteran Agbonlahor suspended for smoking hookah

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Gabby Agbonlahor has been suspended by Aston Villa after pictures surfaced of the striker smoking a shisha pipe while in Dubai over the international break.

Agbonlahor will not feature against Chelsea this weekend as the club performs an internal investigation into the matter.

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While smoking the flavored tobacco pipe is not illegal, the negative health benefits have made it frowned upon by clubs.

The 29-year-old striker is currently the most tenured player on Villa’s squad, making nearly 400 appearances for the first-team since his debut in 2006. A local lad who has been at the club since he was eight-years-old, Agbonlahor has been through it all with Villa. However, the veteran has only scored once in 15 appearances this season as he has failed to help keep the club afloat.

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Villa face Chelsea on Saturday (Watch live, 7:45 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra) in the club’s first match under Eric Black. The former assistant has been named caretaker manager until the end of the season following Remi Garde’s dismissal earlier this week.

Aston Villa 1-1 Manchester United: Falcao header equals Benteke’s stunner, 10-man Villans hang on for point

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The stars aligned to put the Red Devils and Villans level at Villa Park.

Christian Benteke toyed with Johnny Evans and Manchester United to put the home side up 1-0, but Radamel Falcao’s header made sure Aston Villa only gained one point in a 1-1 draw.

United loses ground to No. 2 Manchester City, which trounced Crystal Palace, while Villa grabs its 20th point of the season.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

Benteke picked up the ball just inside the 18, near the right corner. He touched once around Johnny Evans then shook him with another body feint before curling a left-footed shot into the upper left corner.

That aside, United carried the lion’s share of possession and outshot Villa 5-2 in the first half. Yet the score remained 1-0 into the break, and Louis van Gaal opted to sub in Tyler Blackett for Darren Fletcher.

The second half saw Brad Guzan make a big two-handed parry of Robin van Persie as United opened fast. After clearing the ensuing corner, Villa’s defense watched as Mata unleashed a low shot that Guzan fortunately corralled.

Guzan was beaten, though, moments later. Ashley Young made a strong run down the left side before crossing into the box, and Falcao leapt high to head a missile into the corner. It was 1-1 in the 53rd minute.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Gabby Agbonlahor tilted things in United’s favor when he picked up a red card in the 65th minute, mistiming his challenge on Ashley Young and kicking the Red Devil in the ankle.

Leandro Bacuna belted a bouncing ball over the bar with about 10 minutes to go, as a pair of Paul Lambert substitutions seemed to inspire the 10-man Villans.

Lineups

Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar (c), Okore, Clark, Cissokho (Bacuna, 80′), Sanchez, Delph, Weimann (N’Zogbia, 80′), Agbonlahor (RC, 65′), Benteke

Goal: Benteke (18′)

Manchester United: De Gea, Jones, Carrick, Evans, Valencia (Wilson, 74′), Fletcher (Blackett, 45′), Mata, Rooney, Young, van Persie (Di Maria, 61′), Falcao

Goal: Falcao (53′)

Aston Villa 3-1 Hull City: Villa have likely saved themselves (video)

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Had Hull won at Villa Park on Saturday, they’d have been safe – and Aston Villa would’ve been in serious trouble. Instead the hosts put in one of their most impressive home performances this season and, although they’re yet to be mathematically deemed safe, they almost certainly saved their season.

The game got off to a fantastic start for the hosts, who scored with less than a minute played. Despite what appeared to be a defensive setup from Paul Lambert, Villa were off and running from the start. Gabby Agbonlahor burst down the left, putting in a cross that fell perfectly to Marc Albrighton. The wideman wiffed it, but Ashley Westwood was there to put in the goal.

Injury struck Agbonlahor once again, before thirty minutes were up. Lambert put on Jordan Bowery in his place, perhaps thinking him more experienced than U21 star Callum Robinson. Andi Weimann very nearly created a goal for Bowery minutes after his introduction, but the Austrian failed to get in the pass.

Villa were left ruing the missed opportunity when Hull equalized shortly thereafter. Ron Vlaar’s foul on Shane Long gave the visitors a free kick, which Tom Huddlestone took short. Liam Rosenior’s shot took a deflection off Bowery and landed in the back of the net.

The Tigers, knowing that a win would ensure their own safety, pressed on to find another goal. Brad Guzan did well to ensure his side stayed level, flying to his right to keep out a long-range effort from Huddlestone.

It took the hosts some time to regain their footing, but in the 39th minute, it was Steve Harper’s turn to take center stage. The Hull keeper made two fine saves in quick succession, first denying a shot from Weimann, then keeping out a strike from Bowery.

Villa continued to press forward. A series of corners saw two headers from Nathan Baker, the first blocked, the second saved by Harper. The third try was the charm: Weimann managed to put in his header, nudged in from close range.

The Austrian was determined to silence those who’d critiqued his performances this season, calling for him to be benched. In injury time, Weimann put in another, a sharp header into the bottom corner. Credit to Bowery, too, as his work down the left ensured Villa went into the break up 3-1.

Villa looked determined to close out their home games on a good note. Rather than allow Hull City back into the game, the hosts kept pressing, with Bowery making a convincing argument for more playing time. The forward, once again combining with Weimann, nearly added a fourth for Villa, but Harper managed to push his shot over the bar.

While Steve Bruce made an attempt to change up the visitors’ attack, replacing Nikica Jelavić with Yannick Sagbo, the Villa defense, surprisingly, held firm. Huddlestone forced a save from Guzan in the 75th minute, but that was about the last action seen in this one.

LINEUPS

Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Baker, Bertrand, Westwood, Delph, Albrighton (El Ahmadi 76), Agbonlahor (Bowery 24), Weimann (Bacuna 82)

Goals: Westwood 1′; Weimann 41; 45+3′

Hull City: Rosenior, Figueroa, Chester (Bruce 43), Davies, Meyler (Quinn 45), Huddlestone, Livermore, Jelavic (Sagbo 69), Long, Elmohamady

Goals: Bowery o.g. 28′