Matthew Lowton names best player at Aston Villa - and it's not Christian Benteke

The right-back believes few others can change a game like Gabriel Agbonlahor with his unmatched speed.

Matthew Lowton believes that Gabriel Agbonlahor is the best player he’s lined up alongside since arriving at Aston Villa, telling AVTV that few others possess the same game-changing qualities as the long-serving striker.

Agbonlahor, 28, has scored 83 goals in 345 total appearances since coming up through the Villa ranks to make his first-team debut in March 2006, with his performances under former manager Martin O’Neill earning him three England caps between 2008 and 2009.

The Birmingham-native’s form in front of goal has been on the decline in recent seasons, however, as the since-departed Paul Lambert often opted to use Christian Benteke as a lone front man and shunt him out wide.

With Tim Sherwood incoming, though, the hometown hero has been able to prove his worth as part of a two-forward formation, grabbing three goals in the past four games, and, while most would be tempted to choose Benteke as Villa’s main difference-maker, Lowton claims it’s his speedier strike-partner who defenders should fear the most.

“Since I’ve been at Villa, there’ve been a lot of quality players but I think I’d have to say Gabby [is the best],” the right-back said.

“It’s the way he can change a game. I’ll always remember the [2012-13] League Cup run we had, when we were away at Manchester City and under the cosh, and he just changed defence to attack and scored a couple of goals.

“It’s so good to have someone like that in the team.”

Having penned a new deal until 2018 in September, Agbonlahor could well become just the 11th Villain to score 100 goals for the club in the coming seasons, while 50 more appearances would also see him break into the top-10 of the all-time list for appearances.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch