Gabriel Agbonlahor left out of Aston Villa squad

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Aston Villa caretaker manager Eric Black says Gabriel Agbonlahor won't play while the club investigate the striker's conduct

Gabriel Agbonlahor has not been included in Aston Villa's Premier League squad against Chelsea this weekend, pending an investigation by the club.

The Midlands team are investigating reports that the 29-year-old was caught smoking a shisha pipe while on holiday recently in Dubai.

Villa, who are bottom of the Premier League, tweeted: "Gabby Agbonlahor will not be involved in Saturday's early afternoon clash with Chelsea.

"An internal investigation is currently underway. While this is being conducted, Gabby Agbonlahor will not feature."

Gabriel Agbonlahor has been left out of Aston Villa's squad for Saturday's clash with Chelsea
Image: Agbonlahor has been left out of Aston Villa's squad for Saturday's clash with Chelsea

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The decision was taken after photographs were published by the British media apparently showing the striker smoking a pipe.

In what has been a difficult week for the club, Villa parted company with manager Remi Garde on Tuesday before promoting first-team coach Eric Black to acting manager, while the club find a full-time replacement.

And caretaker boss Black said of Agbonlahor, at Friday's weekly press conference: "Unfortunately, it's part and parcel of modern day football.

"It's not specific to Aston Villa and we will deal with it in the right manner. I'm focussed on our next challenge, which is Chelsea.

"We have an on-going investigation which will run its course and I spoke at length last night to David Bernstein (recently appointed club director). So I took the decision to remove him from the squad for Saturday."

The Birmingham-born player has only made 15 League appearances this season, with Villa seemingly heading for the Championship.

Club captain Agbonlahor will train with the squad on Friday but take no part in their overnight preparations ahead of the Chelsea game at Villa Park.

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