One of the most surprising things to come out of the second-city derby last weekend was the return of long-term Aston Villa servant, Gabby Agbonlahor.
From his career at the club seemingly being over at the end of the last transfer window, Agbonlahor impressed the new Villa manager, Steve Bruce, enough to be included in the squad for the biggest game of the season.
But the question remains, should he have ever been given the chance to represent the club again?
For me, he should have been shown the door.
Despite being the club’s record top division goalscorer, Agbonlahor has only netted 73 times in his 11-year stay with the club. Put it on average, that equates to just over 6 goals a season.
The record is one thing, but the weight problem he suffered last season, brought yet more embarrassment on a club who had already suffered more than their fair share. A long-time servant should be the opposite, they should be the influence in that position. The one who offers fans a glimmer of hope.
With the new under-23 rule overshadowing football, there is greater emphasis on youth development at all levels. For Villa to bring back a player in that sort of position, sends out entirely the wrong message. A player who has repeatedly failed will now be back ahead of the youngsters in the pecking order, further blocking their already slim chances of progress.
Club service shouldn’t be enough to warrant a second chance. Villa should have moved on.