Paul Merson comments on Aston Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor

The 29-year-old vacated club captaincy this week following a number of incidents.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Paul Merson does not expect Gabriel Agbonlahor to be at Aston Villa next season - unless a "strong" manager is appointed this summer.

The 29-year-old Villa veteran vacated his role as club captain during the week following a tumultuous end to the season which has seen him suspended after being pictured out with friends almost immediately after the club's relegation.

The former England international was also photographed smoking a shisha pipe during a holiday in Dubai at the end of March, when his side were rock bottom of the Premier League.

Villa, at the moment, have no manager, with caretaker Eric Black currently in charge following the sacking of Remi Garde, but Merson says that only the appointment of a boss like Mick McCarthy or Nigel Pearson would see the club retain Agbonlahor, otherwise he feels a summer exit is on the cards.

"I don't think he'll be at Villa next season," he said on Sky Sports' Fantasy Football Club podcast. "Unless they get somebody very, very hard in there like a Mick McCarthy or a Nigel Pearson who would make sure him and other players don't try run the show.

"But if they don't, and the manager's not strong enough, then I don't [think he'll be there next season]."


It was reported last month that an unspecified Middle Eastern club would try and sign Agbonlahor during the summer, according to The Telegraph.


He has been at the club since he was eight years old, but even Villa fans might want to see the back of him. Even without these end-of-season misdemeanors, his form had been terrible and it may be time to move him on. 

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch