By Gabriel Agbonlahor

21st Sep, 2021 | 8:45pm

Agbonlahor: El Ghazi and £17m Aston Villa teammate may be sidelined for extended spells after latest

Bertrand Traore and Anwar El Ghazi will find it “very tough” to get back into the Aston Villa side if Dean Smith persists with his 3-5-2 formation.

That is the view of Villa’s record Premier League goalscorer and club icon Gabby Agbonlahor, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after the 3-0 win over Everton.

Aston Villa lined up with the same formation as they did against Chelsea with Matty Cash and Matt Targett operating as wing-backs.

As quoted by Birmingham Live, Smith revealed there was no need to change his line-up, apart from bringing Emi Martinez back, against Everton.

Asked whether El Ghazi and Traore may be victims of the side’s mew system, Agbonlahor told Fotoball Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “If he continues with this formation then it’s going to be very tough for them to get back in.

“You saw Leon Bailey and Ashley Young come off the bench at the weekend so they are down the pecking order, El Ghazi and Traore.

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“But they’re still quality players. It’s a long season and there’s the game in the Carabao Cup and you’ve got the FA Cup so you need a big squad.

“When they get their chance, potentially in the Carabao Cup against Chelsea, they’ve got to put on an outstanding performance.

“I’ve been there, out of the team, and then you score a couple of goals in the cup and then started the next Premier League game. That’s how football works, it’s crazy how things can change.”

Traore moved to Villa from Lyon for a reported £17million fee last September.

El Ghazi started the first three games of the Premier League season but has not featured since.

In other news, Aston Villa have been tipped to hold an internal review after a major controversy.