Agbonlahor extends deal

The 18-year-old surpassed Darius Vassell's six-year youth team record of 39 goals in a season by scoring 40 times last term, including five during the run to the FA Youth Cup final. Vassell quickly made the step up and just over three years later won his first England cap. He was followed into the senior side by Luke Moore, another academy product, who is now enjoying a run of first team football and he scored his first senior goal during Saturday's 2-0 win over Middlesbrough at Villa Park.

Agbonlahor is also on the verge of first-team action after earning a place in the squad for the recent Premiership games with Portsmouth and Everton and the Erdington-born youngster is keen to press home his claims for a regular slot. “Hopefully over the next two years I can force my way into the manager's plans,” he said. “I've been in the final 18 recently and just missed out with the Portsmouth and Everton games.

“It would be great if I can get on the bench and then maybe get on. The gaffer must have been watching me recently and that really is a boost. A lot of players have come through from the Academy so hopefully I'll be the next one. I'd like to follow in the footsteps of Darius and Luke Moore. Look what Darius has done. I'd like to do the same but maybe a spell on loan at the end of this season or the start of next would be the next step.”