By Gabriel Agbonlahor

20th Aug, 2021 | 6:00pm

Agbonlahor: Smith may have been involved in behind-the-scenes Aston Villa row after 'big' update

Gabby Agbonlahor has suggested a behind-the scenes-fallout could be behind Richard O’Kelly’s decision to quit Aston Villa.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, Villa’s record Premier League goalscorer admitted he found it “strange” Dean Smith’s long-serving right-hand man had left the club.

Football Insider exclusively revealed on 18 August Villa tried to demote O’Kelly to a role with the Under-23s.

The 64-year-old had no intentions of quitting the Midlands giants before they attempted to sideline him.

O’Kelly followed Smith to Villa Park from Brentford and the pair also worked together at Walsall.

The club confirmed two days before their opening day defeat (12 August) to Watford he had left the club.

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He follows John Terry out of the exit door this summer leaving Craig Shakespeare as the only member of Smith’s coaching staff from last term.

And Agbonlahor has tipped the manager to replace the pair.

“It’s a bit of a strange one,” he told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

“They’ve been together for years so that one didn’t make sense to me. Now it’s only Shakespeare. To go from three coaches to one coach, that’s strange.

“We don’t know what’s happened though. Maybe there’s been a fallout or a disagreement on the training field.

“He’ll definitely another coach, one at least or two. It’s a big thing having enough coaches.

“I’m sure Shakespeare can’t do on his own.”

Smith insisted in a press conference last week (13 August) there was “nothing sinister” in O’Kelly’s departure.

The pair worked together for over a decade at Walsall, Brentford and Villa.

In other news, Aston Villa have been tipped to rake in “big profit” on 2019 signing amid a £17million update.