By Gabriel Agbonlahor

21st Sep, 2022 | 5:03pm

Agbonlahor 'disappointed' in Philippe Coutinho amid 'big' Aston Villa twist

Gabby Agbonlahor has admitted he is “disappointed” it took being axed from the Brazil squad for Philippe Coutinho to start performing for Aston Villa this season.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, Aston Villa’s record Premier League goalscorer suggested Coutinho’s “biggest passion” is now playing for Brazil in the World Cup in November.

The 30-year-old put in a man-of-the-match performance as Villa secured a vital 1-0 win over Southampton on Friday night (16 September).

It was his first appearance since being left out of the Brazil squad for their last internationals before the World Cup in Qatar.

“I called it,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

“It would have been a wake-up call for him to understand that the Brazilian team have got so many talented players, he’s not a guaranteed pick.

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“He would have had a wake-up call and thought ‘You know what, I’ve got to pick it up’.

“It’s a bit disappointing to see that, in the other way, it took being taken out of the Brazil squad to wake up and put in a better performance.

“I feel that should be a given. That should be every week. Maybe he got a bit comfortable and now he’s realised he has to wake up.

“Maybe his biggest passion is playing for Brazil in the World Cup and he’s had to wake up.”

Prior to his recent snub, Coutinho had not missed a Brazil squad for 11 months.

The 69-time international has three goals in his last four appearances for his country.

In other news, a medical insider has named Boubacar Kamara’s Aston Villa return date after knee ligament damage.