There was a time when Gabriel Agbonlahor's name was the talk of England. In 2011, while both he and Ashley Young were at Aston Villa, the Villains were so hard to prepare for because of the raw speed that you had to face. Throw in the hold up play of John Carew and you had a pretty deadly strike force.
Unfortunately, that sort of died when Young ditched the claret and blue of Villa for the blazing red of Manchester, but Agbonlahor stayed behind and has been at the Birmingham club for his entire career (other than a few short loan spells in 2005).
With Villa getting the drop from the Premier League last season, they are in the midst of a rebuild, and Agbonlahor is not a part of their long term plans. So where to next? Well, how about this interesting tidbit from the Birmingham Mail:
The Birmingham Mail understands that an MLS expansion team could be an option as his representatives continue to sound out possible moves. In the meantime the claret and blues’ longest-serving player will train with the U23’s.
Hmmmm... MLS expansion team. Who has one of those... WAIT! We do! Seeing as there are only two expansion teams coming into play in 2017, it would seem that either Atlanta United or Minnesota United could be in for the former England striker's services.
When at his best for Villa (he scored 51 goals for them from 2008-2013), he had a pacy player on the wing playing with him in Ashley Young, some strong central midfielders such as Charles N'Zogbia and Stephen Ireland, and good hold up strikers such as John Carew and Christian Benteke. While not having a full team yet, Atlanta United does have: a pacy winger (Hector Villalba), a good hold up striker (Kenwyne Jones), and a strong central midfielder (Chris McCann).
Unfortunately, Agbonlahor has had some off the field issues. Earlier this year, he was pictured with canisters of laughing gas and was seen smoking hookah "on holiday" as they say across the pond (although I'm not sure what's wrong with smoking hookah). If this stuff is a mere blip on the radar, then he could be an interesting signing.
Obviously, we're not talking about a DP spot here, but he is a player with loads of experience in the English top flight, and that's something we've already seen the Atlanta United brass covet. It would be pretty cool to see two guys up top for Atlanta United that have proven they can score goals at the highest level. Gabby and Kenwyne... kinda has a nice ring to it.