Gabby tipped to make impact
Bent, Jenas and McLeish back Agbonlahor's England call-up
Last Updated: November 7, 2011 10:06am
Gabriel Agbonlahor: Backed by Darren Bent to fill Wayne Rooney's shoes at Euro 2012
Gabriel Agbonlahor's team-mates and manager at Aston Villa have backed the forward to take his scintillating club form on to the international stage.
Agbonlahor has produced a series of dazzling displays for Villa this season and was at his formidable best again on Saturday to inspire his side to a 3-2 victory over Norwich.
He has been rewarded with an England call-up for the upcoming friendlies with Spain and Sweden, and Darren Bent believes he will make an impact.
Bent, who is also in Fabio Capello's squad, feels Agbonlahor could even be the man to replace Wayne Rooney at Euro 2012.
Rooney is suspended for the first three matches of the tournament, pending the outcome of a Football Association appeal, and Bent has tipped Agbonlahor to fill the void.
"He has been brilliant all season. He has got the pace and power and he seems a lot more confident this season than he did last year," Bent said in the Daily Telegraph.
"He is definitely right up there with some of the strikers in the Premier League form-wise, and he can play in a number of positions.
"Rooney is going to be out of the first three games and there is no reason why Gabby can't play in there.
"When you have got someone with that amount of pace it is a dangerous weapon to have."
Villa boss Alex McLeish has been similarly impressed by Agbonlahor since taking charge over the summer, but reckons the 25-year-old still has the potential to get even better.
"Bent has already established himself in the squad, but Gabby Agbonlahor has got to take confidence from the way he has been playing," said McLeish after the win over Norwich.
"He's available for selection and, on his form today, he would frighten any defence."
"But he has got to keep his feet on the ground. He is still a young man and can kick on and improve even further."
Agbonlahor set up Bent for two goals at the weekend, as well as scoring himself, and Jermaine Jenas believes Villa have one of the most potent attacking partnerships in the Premier League at present.
"Gabby was on fire. When he's in that type of mood and that form - which he's been in for several weeks - he's simply unplayable," the on-loan midfielder told the club's official website.
"He's strong, he's quick and I don't think there's a centre-half in the country who wants to play against him at the moment.
"Darren was great as well. He is one of those players who knows where to be at the right time. It's as simple as that.
"He makes good runs and when he's in with a chance of scoring, he's lethal.
"He's shown that again - two poacher's goals in the six yard box. It was exactly what we needed."