Agbonlahor: "Come and get me Celtic"
After impressing in another charity game, Gabby Agbonlahor stated his desire to play for Celtic.
The forward just finished a 14-year love-affair with Aston Villa in July. During that period, Agbonlahor made 341 appearances for Villa and netted a total of 86 goals for the club.
Yet, he’s also created something of an affiliation with Celtic in recent times. On the two charity matches Stiliyan Petrov has been involved in, Agbonlahor has also taken part. The Englishman has netted in both, with the most recent in Saturday’s “Petrov vs Milner” charity match.
The Englishman has also made three appearances at international level.
And, after once again experiencing the Celtic Park atmosphere, Agbonlahor expressed his desire to play there permanently.
At the moment I’m a free agent and considering my options. I want to do what is best for me and my family. I’ll discuss things with my agent and we’ll decide what happens next. Every player if they had the chance to play for Celtic would take it. You would have to speak to Celtic and see if they are interested. If the opportunity comes for me to play in Scotland and the move is right for me and my family then I would certainly look at it.
Whether the former Villa forward is the kind of player Brendan Rodgers needs is questionable. With Moussa Dembele having left the club, Celtic currently have just two forwards in place. Leigh Griffiths and Odsonne Edouard are the sole pair up top, with a third striker desirable.
But Agbonlahor hasn’t done much in recent seasons. With Rodgers looking to improve his squad and rebuild once more, signing the English forward wouldn’t be much of a step forward.
Yet, the transfer window has also now passed. Celtic have run out of time if they want to sign a third striker from another club. The club cam still sign free agents, however, and Agbonlahor fits that bill.
Celtic have had poor experiences in the past when signing established Premier League stars. Carlton Cole arrived under Ronny Deila back in 2015, but, to put it bluntly, he was poor.
The likes of Robbie Keane and Marc Antoine Fortune have come up from England in the past. Both men had substantially different periods in terms of success.
Agbonlahor does represent a risk-free opportunity for Celtic should they take the chance. The fact he’s free is also right up Peter Lawwell’s street.
If the Hoops do go for the forward, it’s not likely to have supporters expressing unified delight. But it’s a risk Rodgers can take without feeling too disappointed if it didn’t turn out.