Hitz: I need to play
By Alex Livie
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Thomas Hitzlsperger says that he needs to play regularly to reach the World Cup.Thomas Hitzlsperger has insisted that he does not need to be playing in the Bundesliga to catch the eye of Germany coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
The midfielder has made it his dream to represent his country on home soil at next year's World Cup finals, but admits a lack of regular playing time for Aston Villa could harm his chances.
Reports in Hitzlsperger's native Germany have suggested he is looking to return to the Bundesliga in the summer in a bid to press home his claims for international recognition, with Stuttgart keeping an eye on his services, but he says his only need is to play regularly.
"Jurgen Klinsmann is very open-minded," Hitzlsperger told Villa's website. "All he wants in his squad are good players.
"He doesn't care if they're playing in Europe or somewhere else even. If they are good enough for Germany, he will pick them.
"The fact that he doesn't live in Germany himself is even better. He told me he can see as many Premiership matches as he can Bundesliga matches from his base in America.
"He gets them all on TV and sees enough coverage of the Premier League to know what I'm doing with Villa.
"From that point of view, it doesn't matter what league I'm playing in. That's a good factor, added to the fact that he's played in The Premiership himself with Spurs.
"It's a bonus for me to be playing in The Premiership and I don't have to go back to Germany to play in Jurgen Klinsmann's side. The only thing I have to do is play matches."
Meanwhile, teenage forward Gabriel Agbonlahor has snubbed interest from other clubs to sign a two-year contract with Villa.
The 18-year-old has caught the eye for the reserves and is looking to force his way into David O'Leary's first team after signing a new deal.
"I'm delighted to sign for Villa and hopefully over the next two years I can force my way into David O'Leary's plans," he said.
"There was other interest and I know other clubs had been watching me. But as far as I was concerned, Villa was the only place for me."