Steve Bruce earmarks major Aston Villa role for reported £53,000-a-week atttacker
By Dominic Toner
Steve Bruce has revealed he will hand Gabby Agbonlahor the chance to revive his Aston Villa career.
Former Birmingham City and Hull City boss Bruce was appointed manager of the Championship club after Roberto Di Matteo was axed after 124 days in charge.
The new Villa boss has vowed for a fresh start with the Midlands club and Agbonlahor could be a player who benefits from this.
“Of course managers get problems to deal with but at this moment in time I’ve got none,” Bruce said, as quoted by the Mail. “I’ve only been here for 24 horus and as far as I’m concerned the slate is wiped clean for all of them.
‘We start again tomorrow. That obviously means Gabby too. He’s had his problems and it’s fair to say he and I have got to get him into some condition, it that applies to him too.”
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The Mail reported in April that Villa were looking to offload the forward after the club were condemned to relegation from the Premier League.
The report detailed that the 30-year-old was on a £53,000-a-week contract despite being suspended by the club, after being pictured with alcohol and laughing gas the day the club were relegated.
Agbonlahor has not played a first-team match for Villa since March and was not given the opportunity under Di Matteo.
The striker could now make an unlikely comeback under Bruce and the former club captain will face a tough battle to earn his place back in the side.
Villa are currently well stocked in the attacking department, with Jonathan Kodjia, Ross McCormack, Rudy Gestede and Jordan Ayew all vying for a starting role.
Agbonlahor has made a remarkable 370 appearances since bursting on the scene as a youngster, scoring 84 goals and supplying 55 assists.
Villa have recorded a league high of seven draws this term, but have picked up only one victory in 11 Championship games.
They sit in 19th place with ten points, having last won a league game against lowly Rotherham in August.
Bruce’s reign at Villa will start with a league meeting against Wolves on Saturday evening.
In other Aston Villa team news, Curtis Davies has given his verdict on Bruce’s appointment at the club.