By Gabriel Agbonlahor

16th Jul, 2021 | 1:14pm

Agbonlahor: Kesler tipped to be Aston Villa 'star' after confirmed news

Gabby Agbonlahor has heaped praise on Aston Villa after they tied Kaine Kesler down to a new five-year contract.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, Villa’s record Premier League goalscorer suggested the defender can be a future “star” of the first-team.

The 18-year-old captained the club’s Under-18 side who won last season’s FA Youth Cup.

He was rewarded with a new five-year deal last week.

Kesler made his senior bow as a young Villa side lost 4-1 to Liverpool in the FA Cup in January.

The senior squad was forced into isolation after a Covid outbreak at Bodymoor Heath meaning a mix of Under-23s and Under-18s lined up against the Merseyside giants.

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Kesler was also named on the bench in the Premier League three times last season.

“To give out deals like that they must know how good he is going to be and how capable he is now,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

“So, that’s clever business from Aston Villa. They think he’s going to be a star and keep progressing, so it makes sense to give him that deal and tie him down.

“We’ve seen Tottenham Hotspur do it for years with all of those players, tieing them down to long-term deals, not just youngsters. It’s a good approach from Aston Villa.”

Aston Villa academy graduates Jack Grealish, Jacob Ramsey and Keinan Davis are currently regulars in Dean Smith’s squad.

Carney Chukwuemka and Jaden Philogene-Bidace also made their Premier League debuts last term.

In other news, Aston Villa have been tipped to beat two clubs to the signing of a Premier League star after he quits a London club.