Bruce expects Aston Villa striker to return like a new signing

According to reports in the Birmingham Mail, Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce is expecting striker Gabby Agbonlahor to be like a new signing when he returns to full fitness.

What’s the word, then?

The 30-year-old has been out of favour at Villa Park for a while now, but Bruce has offered the attacker an olive branch, and he could even be included in the squad that will face arch-rivals Birmingham City at St Andrew’s this weekend.

The former England international is ten days into a personal fitness programme and Bruce is hopeful he can recapture the form that made him a major threat in the Premier League for a number of years.

He said: “If we can get him fit and firing then who knows – the second half of the season, he could be like a new signing walking through the door.”

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When did he last appear for Villa?

Agbonlahor was involved in the club’s 1-0 defeat away at Swansea in March, but was suspended shortly after when he was pictured holding a shisha pipe while on holiday in Dubai.

The striker failed to learn his lesson, it seems, as three weeks later he was suspended after being pictured with laughing gas canisters, which did him no favours.