By Gabriel Agbonlahor

9th Jan, 2022 | 6:33pm

Agbonlahor: Aston Villa '100%' signing defender after confirmed news

Gabby Agbonlahor has tipped Aston Villa to sign a centre-back on loan until the end of the season.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, Aston Villa’s record Premier League goalscorer delivered his verdict after Axel Tuanzebe quit the club to join Napoli on loan yesterday (8 January).

Tuanzebe rejoined Villa in the summer on a season-long loan but was recalled by Man United and sent straight to Napoli.

That leaves Steven Gerrard with just three senior centre-backs with 16-year-old Josh Feeney included on the bench for their 2-1 loss to Brentford last weekend (2 January).

Asked whether he thought Villa will sign a centre-back this month, Agbonlahor told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “100 per cent.

“Yes, they do need a centre-half but they won’t want to spend big money on one that’s not going to play.

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“It’s a tough predicament. It’s a predicament where you would want a young Under-23 player coming through to be cover. One where, if needed, he can step up but isn’t going to bang on the door if he’s not playing.

“Maybe that’s what Steven Gerrard will look to, one of his Under-23s. He’ll want to spend more of his money on the attacking players.

“Feeney is probably a good player but in a worst-case scenario with covid and other illnesses, there is a chance the fourth-choice centre-half will have to play some games this season.

“You wouldn’t want to rely on a 16-year-old centre-half against Romelu Lukaku, for example. It wouldn’t be fair on him.

“I see Gerrard bringing in somebody on loan for six months who is not going to moan about not starting.”

In other news, an ‘unbelievable’ Premier League star has been tipped to follow Coutinho to Aston Villa.