Wednesday, September 6, 2023

No Raphael Varane or Casemiro and Mason Mount doesn’t even make bench of Gabby Agbonlahor’s combined Manchester United/Aston Villa XI

Gabriel Agbonlahor recently revealed his combined Manchester United and Aston Villa XI, and it has caused quite a stir. During an appearance on Drive alongside Darren Bent, Agbonlahor received a text from a listener claiming that no Aston Villa player would make it into United’s first XI. This statement infuriated Agbonlahor, who vehemently disagreed.

As the show went to a break, Agbonlahor quickly jotted down his combined XI, which included some surprising choices. Notably, United’s Raphael Varane and Casemiro, who have an impressive nine Champions League medals between them, did not make the cut. Instead, Agbonlahor opted for Ezri Konsa and Douglas Luiz, leaving many listeners dumbfounded.

Agbonlahor defended his choices, stating that Ollie Watkins deserved a place due to United’s lack of a center-forward. He also argued that Emi Martinez should be the goalkeeper, as he is the best in the world and has won the World Cup. Agbonlahor further justified his decision by claiming that Varane is injury-prone and not as strong on the ball as Mings or Konsa.

Moving to the midfield, Agbonlahor praised Douglas Luiz and John McGinn, stating that they were both outstanding players. He also included Bruno Fernandes in a free role, ahead of Emi Buendia. On the wings, Agbonlahor chose Marcus Rashford on the left and Moussa Diaby on the right, highlighting Diaby’s incredible speed and potential for goals and assists.

Upfront, Agbonlahor selected Watkins, dismissing other options such as Wout Weghorst and Anthony Martial. Mason Mount, who Bent believed should have been included, did not even make the bench according to Agbonlahor.

While Agbonlahor’s choices may be controversial, it is important to respect his opinion and the diversity of perspectives in football. Ultimately, the beauty of the game lies in its ability to spark debates and discussions among fans.
The Premier League clash between Manchester United and Aston Villa was never going to be short of star quality, but it was still a shock to see neither of United’s star duo Casemiro and Raphael Varane included in Gabriel Agbonlahor’s combined XI.

Agbonlahor, a Villa legend and one time England international, is a trusted expert when it comes to analysing players in England’s top flight. This did not stop however his combined XI from fielding a combined front three of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Ollie Watkins. A risky decision to go without two of United’s most influential defenders in recent years.

It gets worse for United fans though if you go into the midfield as there is no room for Mason Mount who is yet another star name missing. It felt like an oversight from Agbonlahor as Mason Mount has been a regular part of the United line-up this season both domestically and in Europe.

It would be wrong to dismiss Agbonlahor’s combined XI out of hand as it is still well balanced and contains an impressive mix of attack-minded players and players who will defend with heart.

However, with this United-Villa clash yet to take place, it will be interesting to see if Agbonlahor’s predictions will come true or whether it is those players who he left out who prove to be the key difference.

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