Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has backed Gabby Agbonlahor to keep producing for the club after earning a new four-year deal, believing the striker has still to hit his peak.
The 27-year-old first joined Villa as a schoolboy in 1994, before working his way up through the ranks to earn his Premier League debut in 2006, since going on to score 79 goals in 320 appearances, while also earning three senior England caps in the meantime.
Now setting himself up to be a one-club man, Lambert has lauded the Birmingham-native’s impact on the pitch, and insists there’s much more to come over the next few seasons.
‘This new deal is great for him and the club,’ he told the club’s official website. ‘Gabby has got so much to offer. He's only 27. He might not hit his prime until his early 30s.
‘His speed is a hell of an asset. There are not many players with that pace out there that you can go and get. If he's on his game, at times he's unplayable. He's certainly playing really well.
‘He's been here all his days. He knows the club inside out. He can get even better in the years to come.
‘I think his performances from the start of the season have been excellent. He was excellent against Hull.
‘Andi Weimann has started the season really well too. Christian Benteke is not too far away from training. The two of them have been big players. They have got us goals to win us games, and I am delighted with the way they are performing.’
With Agbonlahor’s future now tied down to the club for the long-term, Villa’s attention will turn to now-England international Fabian Delph, captain Ron Vlaar and promising winger Jack Grealish, who are all in the final season of their respective deals.