Former Aston Villa striker Darius Vassell urges Gabriel Agbonlahor to leave the club

Darius Vassell

Ex-Villa favourite Vassell believes the time has come for Agbonlahor to get out of Villa Park.

 

Darius Vassell

Former Aston Villa fan favourite Darius Vassell has told the Mirror that it is high time much-maligned striker Gabriel Agbonlahor left the club.

Agbonlahor has gone from local hero to villain for many Villa supporters, something based both on his huge decline in form and sporadic controversial incidents.

The 29-year-old was criticised last season for off-field incidents, including accusations that he was out partying after late-season defeat which ultimately led to him resigning the club captaincy, and for scoring just once all campaign.

 

The striker scored 49 times across his first four seasons in the first team of his boyhood club, but has managed double figures just once in the last six campaigns and has netted only 11 times since May 2013.

Aston Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor

He is yet to play a single minute under new manager Roberto di Matteo, and it appears as though the clock is running out on his career at Villa Park despite having two years left on his contract.

Vassell, who like Agbonlahor came through Villa's academy and scored 45 goals in 201 appearances for Villa from 1998 to 2005, believes it is time for the club's record Premier League goalscorer to leave his first club behind.

The 36-year-old told the Mirror: "I definitely advise a fresh start. I have been there - there is a lot on his shoulders as a Villa boy. I was a Villa fan as a youngster too and if he has supported Villa the way I did as a youngster he will feel sick about where they are now.

Leicester City's Robert Huth in action with Aston Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor

“If he feels as bad as I think he will, it will be very hard for him to play for the club. When it is your club it is different and when I went to Man City things were completely different. Obviously I had a responsibility towards Manchester and the club but it wasn't like my life was going to be over if City lost.

“It just meant I had to go into training and work a bit harder but when I was in Birmingham I literally didn't come out of my house if we lost. Gabby must have been all over the place in his head last season. When you have been beaten down and beaten down and it culminates in the club getting relegated it is too much to be on one man's shoulders."

Vassell clearly sympathises with Agbonlahor, and as alluded to, can also empathise with the striker after also moving on after his career began to slide.

The former Villa man scored just three times in his final campaign at the club before making the heavy-hearted decision to move to Manchester City in 2005.

Darius Vassell - Aston Villa

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