Tim Sherwood tackles questions on Gabby Agbonlahor's place in the Aston Villa side

Gabriel Agbonlahor

The long-serving striker has not scored for the club since bagging a brace in March's 4-0 win at Sunderland.

Aston Villa fans have been increasingly calling for Gabby Agbonlahor to be dropped to the bench after his poor start to the season and it sounds like manager Tim Sherwood could be about to grant them their wish.

Speaking to the Birmingham Mail following Tuesday night’s 5-3 Capital One Cup second-round win over Notts County, Sherwood was asked whether the long-serving striker’s starting spot is under threat given his recent struggles in front of goal and gave an intriguing answer.

The Villa boss had just seen fellow attacker Scott Sinclair bag a hat-trick after being brought back into the line-up following Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Crystal Palace and, while he did not directly state that he could now keep his place in the side at Agbonlahor’s expense for the weekend’s visit of Sunderland, he seemed to suggest that the latter should be prepared to take a seat on the sidelines.

“He’s only played three games and no one has scored [in the league] except for Rudy Gestede,” Sherwood told the newspaper on Agbonlahor. “But everyone’s position is under threat, always.

“If you’ve got a nice balance to your squad and people [like Sinclair] who are willing to turn in performances like that and put themselves on offer, I’ll consider everyone.

“That also includes the kids.”

 2015-16 Premier League PositionTeamGoalsTotal ShotsShooting AccuracyAssistsKey PassesTotal Passes GAMEPassing AccuracyTouches GAMEAppearancesMins Played
Gabriel Agbonlahor FW Aston Villa 0 4 75% 0 3 14 81% 23.67 3 270

Agbonlahor, 28, has scored 83 times in 355 total appearances for Villa since coming up through the ranks to make his first-team debut in March 2006, aged 19, and earned three England caps between 2008 and 2009 thanks to his impressive performances under then-manager Martin O’Neill.

However, his form in front of goal has been on a noticeable decline in recent seasons, as the since-departed Paul Lambert often opted to shift the homegrown forward out wide when using Christian Benteke as a lone front man.

He did seem to be on the verge of a revival back in March following Sherwood’s arrival, when he scored three goals in three games in a new two-striker formation, but a hamstring strain later ended up limiting his impact during the run-in.

Since beginning this term with three goalless outings, the claret and blue faithful are growing more and more frustrated with his ineffectiveness and, having failed to score more than 10 top-flight goals in a season since the 2009-10 campaign, their ire seems more than justified.

Named club captain ahead the season alongside team captain Micah Richards, the Birmingham-native still seems to be regarded as a valuable member of the Villa dressing room but, given his on-field performances, questions about his long-term future at the club have to start being asked.

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