Gabby Agbonlahor makes Jack Grealish Aston Villa return admission

Gabriel Agbonlahor of Aston Villa and Jack Grealish of Aston Villa celebrate
Once teammates together at Aston Villa, now both departed, but Gabriel Agbonlahor (left) hopes to see Jack Grealish (right) return to Villa Park for one last hoorah (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images) -Credit:Harry Trump/Getty Images

Gabby Agbonlahor would not see it as a shock if Jack Grealish were to return to Aston Villa from Manchester City at a later time in his career.

The England international departed Villa Park in 2021. Whilst it was a move nobody from the West Midlands side wanted to see happen, the bargain has worked out well for all concerned as Villa raised £100m to fund a team now on the rise, Grealish has excelled personally as a footballer and Man City have dominated world football by winning the treble, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup last year.

His form was originally questioned during a slow bedding in period but now 28-years-old, the attacking talent is in the peak years of his career and flourishing under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola. The current campaign has come with new injury problems, but not ones that tarnish his time in Manchester, Agbonlahor assesses.

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"I look at when he left, I was devastated," the retired former Villa striker admitted on the Ben Heath podcast. "I think he was devastated as well if I'm being honest, because it's one of them ones where you have to go. Even though you're Villa through and through, you can't turn down guaranteed trophies and that's what he's went and achieved.

"He's had a great start to his time there. A lot of people asked me a question of this season, how has he been and has he been at his best this season? He will say no, he found it hard with injuries and getting the same injury again. He'll look at [Jeremy] Doku coming in who has done well at times and his game this season has probably been spread out a bit more.

"What I say to people is knockout football, Real Madrid, who started both games? Jack. he's trustworthy, he plays the Pep way and I think he's enjoying his time there. He's playing with superstars.

"He knows at Villa he could go and receive the ball wherever he wanted, you can't do that with Pep. You've got your set way, set positions you've got to play in and he's gonna look back when he retires at this amount of league titles, he won the treble, playing regularly for England, so for me it has gone well for him."

Across his three years as a Man City player, he has made 125 appearances and in that time has registered 14 goals and 18 assists. He has an equal length of time remaining on his deal to replicate or better those numbers, having signed a six-year deal upon his arrival.

Grealish would be 31 when the expiry date finally comes into view, so there will be a decision to make. Instead of renewing or seeking out fresh pastures, it is Agbonlahor's belief a return to Villa is on the cards as long as the conditions are right.

He stated: "It wouldn't surprise me, him coming back. At a later stage in his career, depending on where Villa are at and where his feelings are, but he's definitely still Villa through and through. He will look back at amazing times at Villa, captained his boyhood club and went on to do amazing things with City."

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