By 90Min
October 21, 2018

Gabby Agbonlahor has declared that he is willing to play for free in order to help his boyhood club Aston Villa, in the wake of the Villans' managerial change. 

Having made just six appearances for Villa last season, Agbonlahor's contract expired and his 13-year association with the club came to an end. 

Alex Livesey/GettyImages

Speaking to the Sun, the striker said: "Everyone knew the club had difficulties, so I asked my agent to speak with Steve Bruce and say I’d play for free.

“There were no strings, I didn’t want paying.

“It was a genuine offer to help the club I love.”

Whilst this is indeed a generous offer from Agbonlahor, the last two years of the English striker's career at the Midlands club were tainted with fitness and disciplinary problems. 

In 2016, Agbonlahor was reportedly pictured holding a shisha pipe and using laughing gas canisters. This led to then-manager, Roberto Di Matteo, dropping the former Villa captain from the first-team squad entirely. 

Despite being reinstated into the squad by Steve Bruce following his appointment in 2016, the recently-sacked Aston Villa manager was forced put Agbonlahor on a six-week fitness course. This did not reap the desired rewards as the Englishman scored just twice in 20 appearances over Bruce's two seasons in charge. 

However, the Villans have struggled so far this campaign and currently sit 13th in the Championship table. Scoring goals has not been the main problem for Dean Smith's side, having netted 21 goals so far in 13 league games. Villa have instead been defensively fragile, conceding 20 goals already.

Smith's first game in charge of the Championship club resulted in a satisfactory 1-0 victory over Swansea City, as Villa's summer loan-signing, Tammy Abraham, netted the winner. 

Their next test comes in the form of an away trip to Norwich City, who are currently taking up the final play-off position in the table as they sit in sixth place. Smith will be hoping for another defensively resolute performance from his side as they bid to make it six points from six under the new regime. 

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