Gabby Agbonlahor signed a new-four year deal with Aston Villa on Wednesday, and now the forward is urging the club to secure the future of teammate Fabian Delph.
Delph, 24, is coming off a week in which he earned both his first England cap and start, following a breakout 2013-14 campaign which saw him receive widespread plaudits across the Premier League.
The midfielder endured a tough start to life at Villa after signing from Leeds United in 2009 for around £6 million, with injuries halting his progress, but is now the club’s undisputed talisman as he enters the final season of his contract.
Agbonlahor, who has won three England caps himself during his career, insists he’s not seen a more dedicated professional than the Bradford-native and wants the club to ensure that he remains at Villa Park for the long-term future.
‘The manager has brought in a lot of experience, which has helped the squad, but there are a few players with just one year remaining on their contracts, Fabian included,’ he told the Birmingham Mail.
‘It’s down to them and the club to discuss their future.
‘For me, as a close friend and a team-mate of Fabian’s, I’d love nothing more than for him to stay.
‘I watched him for England and the whole experience would have been fantastic for him,’ he added. ‘I have been there and I know how buzzing you are during every single minute of it.
‘He would have been buzzing too, especially starting. He was so excited. It’s a credit to him because he does a lot of training outside of football.
‘He’s the most dedicated player I have seen since I have been here and he’s reaping the benefits.
‘As a player he would rather do extra training than go for a beer. That’s his mentality.
‘He wants to achieve big and go far in the game and we are lucky to have him.’
If reports are to be believed, Agbonlahor could well get his wish, with Villa understood to be preparing to offer Delph a new four-year, £50,000-per-week deal to stay in the midlands.