Aston Villa

Gabby Agbonlahor has told Aston Villa to look at signing the top players from the Championship rather than relying on the foreign market.

Speaking exclusively to Football insider, Villa’s record Premier League goalscorer pointed to the success of Matty Cash and Ollie Watkins when discussing the upcoming transfer window.

Football Insider understands Villa are planning a fresh move for in-form Werder Bremen winger Milot Rashica after negotiations failed last summer.

The Midlands giants are keen to bring in two top-level wide forwards who can play either side of the main striker in their 4-2-3-1 formation.

“I just think Villa have to be very careful in the transfer window,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

“It’s a big summer for Villa. People are going to be like ‘Can Villa do the same as last season and have a great season?’ So they have to be careful with the players they bring in.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“They have to do their checks. You can have these players that do well in the German league but the Premier League is totally different.

“I’ve seen it happen a number of times at Aston Villa where players have come in from different leagues and, I don’t want to name names but even this season they’ve not been as good as they were in those other leagues. It’s a totally different league.

“They have to be very careful and I believe they have to recruit how they did last summer. Go and do that again.

“Go and look at the brightest prospect in the Championship and bring them in. The Championship is closer to the Premier League.

Watkins and Cash have been outstanding this season. They’ve not had to go to the German league.

“They’ve got to be very careful. If they want to go again next season they need to bring in the right players.

Aston Villa

“I’d be very careful and cautious which I think Dean Smith will be. He won’t want to bring in players who will flop.

“It will be very interesting to see who they go for.”

In other news, Liverpool have set their sights on signing a blisteringly-quick Aston Villa player.