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Gabriel Agbonlahor Close To New Deal

Martin O'Neill is looking at securing the long term future of 20-year-old Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor with a new deal.

Gabby signed a 3 1/2 year contract extension last year but O'Neill wants to tie him down to a longer deal.

O'Neill said: 'We are hoping we can get something organised relatively quickly. We want Gabby to stay here. He has done very, very well, although it has been a long, long season for him. But he has got a future here and Gabby wants to stay around and wants to develop his game. We will get the whole thing together (length of contract) but in principle we are not too far away.'

On his future the Villa boss said: 'He will do better. He will be more aware of the game, he will be more aware of the opposition and he will be more aware of his position. He has played wide right-hand side in the early part of the season, then up front, now he has come back to his earlier position.'

Adding in the Birmingham Mail: 'Gabby has come on in leaps and bounds this season and he is on the brink of signing a new contract, designed to keep him here for the forseeable future. He knows that like the rest of us, he still has plenty to prove but he has shown a great willingness to work on his game and has a big part to play in our future. The potential of the side is reflected in the fact that three of our young players, Ashley Young, Agbonlahor and Gary Cahill have been selected for the England under 21s against Italy.'

Gabby has also been approached to play for Nigeria.

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday March 20 2007

Time: 1:17PM

Your Comments

On his performances and his outstanding progress this season, Gabby deserves the reward of a new and improved contract, and it makes obvious sense for the club to tie him down on a longer deal. Sometimes I think that things have happened a little too quickly for Gabby, particularly when you recall that this time last season he had only just made his first team debut. He still has a lot to learn, and there is much to improve upon, but time is certainly very much on the young mans side, and I expect him to come back next season a better and improved player due to his experiences throughout the current campaign.
glensider
Hope he gets a starting place for the England under 21 team, it will be a huge step forward in his development and progress. Admittedly he's been looking a little bit tired and sluggish of late, but an appearance at Wembley might be just the spur he needs to end the season in style.
glensider
 

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