Gabby Agbonlahor isn’t exactly the most popular figure among Newcastle United fans given the number of digs the former Aston Villa striker has aimed at their football club in recent seasons. But there’s one jibe in particular that stands out.
Cast your minds back to November 2021; the Magpies’ Premier League status was in major doubt and newly-appointed head coach Eddie Howe knew a big January transfer window was needed to strengthen the club’s survival bid.
High-profile names such as Kieran Trippier and Bruno Guimaraes arrived from Atletico Madrid and Lyon respectively, while Chris Wood, Dan Burn and Matt Targett also completed a move to St James’ Park.
Yet prior to the window opening, Agbonlahor insisted Newcastle would struggle to sign players for geographical reasons, and even went as far to say they’d rather join Brentford on less money.
“Players will go there for the money let’s be honest,” the 36-year-old told talkSPORT. “When I was playing in the Premier League, Newcastle was the place where you wasn’t sure. I didn’t want to go, it’s far up north, the weather.
“Players want to be close to London, closer to London was the attraction. If you offered a player £40,000 a week at Newcastle, or £30,000 a week at Brentford, they would go to Brentford even on less money.
“Players don’t want to live in Newcastle. They’re going to want clauses in their contracts if they go down they can leave for this amount of money.”
Given Newcastle surged to safety last season and have since attracted the likes of Sven Botman and Alexander Isak to the North East, fans are always quick to remind Agbonlahor of his comments.
So when the footballer-turned-pundit Agbonlahor tweeted ‘OK in May my good friend has a stag and wedding in Newcastle.. Am I safe to go Geordies? ‘, you can already guess the response.
“Wouldn’t you rather go to Brentford with less money?” asked @NUFCgallowgate. @magpie_local1 said: “Why Newcastle have you told him we have nothing to offer up here?”
@SirScottYoung replied: “Just go to Brentford? Why would you go to Newcastle there is nothing there...”
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