Gabby Agbonlahor backed to rediscover form by Aston Villa teammate Carles Gil

Gabriel Agbonlahor

The Spanish midfielder has praised his experienced teammate's work on the training ground and impact in the dressing room.

Aston Villa playmaker Carles Gil has backed Gabby Agbonlahor to recapture his best form following his return to the first-team fold.

Agbonlahor, who is currently in the midst of an 11-month goal drought, only saw one minute of action in Remi Garde’s first 14 matches as Villa manager and was rumoured to be leaving the club during the winter transfer window after the Frenchman admitted to a “disagreement” between the pair in December.

However, Garde later insisted ahead of the deadline that the long-serving forward’s absence was down to injuries, before handing him a 25-minute cameo off the bench in last weekend's 4-0 FA Cup fourth round defeat to Manchester City.

He subsequently started Tuesday night’s 2-0 loss at West Ham United with Rudy Gestede and Libor Kozak both out injured but struggled to make an impact once Villa went down to 10 men following Jordan Ayew’s 17th-minute dismissal for an elbow on Aaron Cresswell.

Nevertheless, he will likely make a second straight start in Saturday’s clash with Norwich City as the only available senior striker, and Gil believes the former England international is primed to prove that he still has a lot to offer the club.

Speaking to AVTV, the skilful Spaniard was full of praise for his veteran teammate’s leadership and noted that he has been making a positive impression in training now he is back to full fitness.

“He’s a very good player,” said Gil. “He’s a legend at Aston Villa and in the Premier League, and we are happy because now he’s fit. I think he can help us.

“He trains very well and he’s a nice guy. For example, he always helps me and I’m very grateful for this.”

Gil, meanwhile, has now been at Villa for just over 12 months since his £3.2 million move from childhood club Valencia, recording three goals and two assists in 28 total appearances.

The diminutive No. 10 struggled to hold down a place in the line-up under former manager Tim Sherwood but has been a regular fixture in Garde’s side over the past month, starting seven of the club’s past eight matches and netting a wonder goal in the 3-1 loss at Sunderland.

He is still noticeably struggling with the physicality of English football at times, but the 23-year insists that he is enjoying his time in the Midlands in spite of the team’s struggles at the foot of the Premier League.

“I’m happy to live in Birmingham and play for Aston Villa,” Gil added to AVTV. “I know that now is not a good situation for the club but we want to change that, win games and go up in the table.

“I think all players want to play games and I now I’m playing I’m very happy. I will always try to help my teammates on the pitch.”

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