Laursen backs Agbonlahor to hit the target

Former Aston Villa defender Martin Laursen believes Gabriel Agbonlahor can fill the void left by the injured Darren Bent, according to ClubCall.

Bent was ruled out for three months with an ankle ligament injury suffered against Wigan Athletic, leaving the England international with a race against time to feature again before the end of the Premier League season and throwing into doubt his participation in the European Championships.

Since leaving Sunderland for Aston Villa in January 2011 Bent has scored 19 goals in 41 games. At the Stadium of Light Bent managed 36 goals in 61 games following his move from Tottenham Hotspur in 2009. Capped 13 times by England, Bent has scored four goals for the national team.

Laursen said: “I think Gabby is a top Premier League striker. He is only young but he has shown that he is one of the best strikers in the top-flight. He has the mental strength too. He wants to learn – and he has developed.

Agbonlahor has made 25 appearances for Villa this season, scoring six times. The 25-year-old has been at Villa Park his entire career, bar brief loan spells with Sheffield Wednesday and Watford in 2005. In total, Agbonlahor has played 245 games for the Midlands club, finding the net on 54 occasions.

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