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Gabriel Agbonlahor compares what happened to him with Arsenal star

Former Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor has compared his situation with the England national team to that of the current Arsenal player

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Former Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor has provided insights into his time with the England squad, revealing a lack of enjoyment during his international duty. Agbonlahor’s comments come in light of Arsenal defender Ben White’s decision to opt out of England selection, drawing parallels between their respective situations.

Despite earning three England caps between 2008 and 2009, Agbonlahor, now 37, expressed his struggles to find a stable role within the national team setup. His last senior squad call-up occurred in 2011, with injuries often leading to withdrawals from subsequent call-ups, mirroring White’s recent stance on international duty.

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Speaking on the Ben Heath Podcast, Agbonlahor discussed feeling somewhat unlucky to have played in an era brimming with talented English forwards. He reminisced about competing for a spot alongside names like Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen, Emile Heskey, Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe, and Darren Bent.

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Arsenal defender Benjamin White (Image credit: Getty Images)

Reflecting on his decision-making during his international career, Agbonlahor admitted to prioritising his club commitments with Aston Villa over national team duty, particularly when nursing injuries that could impact his performance for his club.

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Drawing parallels with White’s situation, Agbonlahor highlighted the challenge of competing for a place in the England squad, especially in positions with stiff competition. White, facing tough competition at right-back, opted out of England’s squad in March, citing a focus on his club responsibilities with Arsenal.

“Similar to maybe Ben White, I was a bit like ‘why am I staying here for 10 days at the Grove hotel in Watford when I can be back at Villa getting treatment and getting ready for the game.”

Despite White’s impressive form with Arsenal, his decision to withdraw from England duty, particularly during the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, left Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate disappointed. Southgate expressed his admiration for White’s talent and his desire to include him in the squad, but acknowledged and respected White’s decision.

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