Can Gabriel Agbonlahor force his way back into the England set-up?

After a couple of difficult seasons at Aston Villa, the forward has been in inspired form in recent weeks, and Roy Hodgson should be taking note.

Whilst Christian Benteke has been at the forefront of Aston Villa’s excellent recent form, he is not the only man attempting to fire Paul Lambert’s team to safety. Gabby Agbonlahor has six goals and one assist in his last seven matches, with two goals at Norwich pushing Villa to the 40 point mark.

With Wigan also in good form, that tally might not be enough to guarantee survival this season, but Villa will back themselves to pick up one or two more points in their final games against Chelsea and Roberto Martinez’s side.

Given his fine recent form, you would expect Agbonlahor to be at the heart of any good result they pick up in those two games, and the forward might already be looking forward to next season, and perhaps at forcing his way back into the England squad.

Agbonlahor has three England caps to his name already, but has not featured for the national side since 2009. Gerard Houllier and Alex McLeish’s spells in charge at Villa Park seemed to have set the 26 year old back considerably after he had established himself in the team under Martin O’Neill, with the former in particular criticised by the player.

He finally looks to have regained the form that earned him a call-up for England last time around, and Roy Hodgson should watch how Agbonlahor starts next season very carefully. He has proven this season that he can be effective in a variety of positions in attack, and his ridiculous pace is always going to be an asset at any level.

Now an elder statesman in Aston Villa’s incredibly young side, Agbonlahor has embraced his role in the squad well, and looks comfortable working under Paul Lambert. If he carries his form into next year, and Villa build upon their own fine recent performances to start strongly in next year’s league, there is no reason Agbonlahor cannot push himself into the England squad again, and maybe even find himself at the World Cup in Brazil.

image: © Dagur Brynjólfsson

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