With the exception of a couple of loans when he was a teenager, Gabriel Agbonlahor was a one-club man at Aston Villa. On Wednesday, he confirmed that he’d end his career in the Claret and Blue.
The English striker called time on his 14-year professional career, having spent the last nine months as a free agent after being released by Aston Villa last summer. Agbonlahor finishes his career with 322 Premier League appearances and goals in England’s top tier. From 2005 when he made his professional debut, he quickly became one of the most exciting young prospects in the Premier League, going on to become a prolific scorer.
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Between 2007 and 2010, Agbonlahor scored 36 goals for Aston Villa in the Premier League, helping them to strong finishes in the league. His league form also earned him a few call-ups for Fabio Capello and the England National Team, though he only made three appearances.
With his breath-taking pace and dribbling ability, Agbonlahor looked as though he’d develop into the next great Premier League striker. Yet he never truly reached those great heights. Although he stayed with Aston Villa when it was relegated, he wasn’t able to find his old form to bring them back to the top division.
Major League Soccer has become a more attractive destination for foreigners over the years, and another veteran could be on his way stateside in 2017.
According to the Birmingham Mail, Gabriel Agbonlahor could potentially complete a move to MLS during the January transfer window despite still having two years remaining on his contract at Aston Villa.
The 29-year-old is in his 12th year with Villa after coming up through the club’s academy system. The report also states that Agbonlahor is currently training with Aston Villa’s Under-23 side as he sorts out his club situation moving forward.
With two new MLS sides set to join the league in 2017 — with Atlanta United FC and Minnesota United FC — Agbonlahor would surely provide either expansion side with a strong presence up front as they look to make an impact in their first season.
Former Premier League striker Kenwyne Jones has already completed a move to Atlanta ahead of the team’s entrance into the league. Meanwhile, Agbonlahor would also join the likes of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, who play at New York City FC and LA Galaxy, respectively.
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 have suspended striker and former club captain Gabriel Agbonlahor.
According to reports, photos of the academy product, 29, drinking and with gas canisters have emerged from him partying on Saturday night, the same day Aston Villa’s relegation was confirmed.
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Agbonlahor was not in the squad at Old Trafford as he was told he wasn’t fit enough, and he was also left out by Eric Black for their recent defeat to Chelsea after pictures of him with a shisha pipe in Dubai appeared.
He had since been reinstated to the first team but this latest incident is the latest in a sorry state of affairs for Villa. Joleon Lescott‘s comments following their relegation were unacceptable, while David Bernstein and Lord Mervyn King resigned from Villa’s board on Monday.
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Villa were relegated from the Premier League last weekend, as they sit bottom on 16 points after a dreadful campaign which saw both Tim Sherwood and Remi Garde lose their jobs with Villa winning just three of their 34 games so far. It is the first time they’ve been relegated to England’s second-tier since 1987.
The club released the following statement on their website on Tuesday:
Aston Villa Football Club has today suspended Gabby Agbonlahor pending an internal investigation.
This is following allegations concerning his conduct at the weekend.
There will be no further comment from the Club in relation to this matter until the investigation has been completed.
Score one for the Midlands.
In a season for lowlights, Aston Villa captain Gabriel Agbonlahor is celebrating a bit of hope for his beleaguered club after his classy finish gave the 29-year-old his first goal of the season.
[ REACTION: Agbonlahor says Villa now ready to produce great escape ]
It also inspired Villa to consider that eight points off the Premier League safety chase isn’t unrealistic if it can put together some more gritty performances like the 2-0 defeat of Norwich City on Saturday.
Premier League Players of the Week
Week 1: Riyad Mahrez, Leicester City
Week 2: Romelu Lukaku, Everton
Week 3: Callum Wilson, Bournemouth
Week 4: Bafetimbi Gomis, Swansea City
Week 5: Steven Naismith, Everton
Week 6: Anthony Martial, Manchester United
Week 7: Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal
Week 8: Sergio Aguero, Manchester City
Week 9: Raheem Sterling, Manchester City
Week 10: Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur
Week 11: Arouna Kone, Everton
Week 12: Jesse Lingard, Manchester United
Week 15: Riyad Mahrez, Leicester City
Week 16: Ayoze Perez, Newcastle United
Week 17: Odion Ighalo, Watford
Week 19: Xherdan Shaqiri, Stoke City
Week 20: Jermain Defoe, Sunderland
Week 21: Jermain Defoe, Sunderland
Week 22: Sergio Aguero, Manchester City
Week 23: Dele Alli, Tottenham Hotspur
Week 24: Fraser Forster, Southampton
Week 25: Gabriel Agbonlahor, Aston Villa