Gabby Agbonlahor doubled down on her take on signing for Newcastle, adding that Eddie Howe will have a very difficult task attracting players despite their enormous financial strength.
The talkSPORT expert sparked controversy earlier this week when he suggested the footballers would not join the Magpies due to their geographic location.
He told talkSPORT Breakfast on Monday: “When I was playing in the Premier League Newcastle was where you thought ‘I’m not sure I don’t know if I want to go that far north, the weather…”
Host Lynsey Hipgrave, a Geordie and of course an avid Newcastle fan, told Agbonlahor there is a chance to be a hero if you play for the club.
Agbonlahor replied: “The players want to be closer to London. Now if you offered a player £ 40,000 a week at Newcastle or £ 30,000 a week to play for Brentford, he would go to Brentford – even with less money.
“The loans are going to be essential because the players don’t want to live in Newcastle, let’s be honest.”
Although the Saudi takeover of Newcastle finally took place in October, results on the pitch show no signs of improving. They still haven’t won this season, with their last outing seeing them only managing a home draw against relegation rivals Norwich.
Agbonlahor believes their position in the league will turn off players they are interested in, but also revealed that some former players in the game have since contacted him to say they agree with his original comments.
He said on Wednesday: “I stand by exactly what I said. If I was still 25 and had a choice, I would choose Brentford over Newcastle now. I’d rather be closer to London, for me to move up there you’re going to have to pay a lot more money.
“They’re going to have this problem in the January transfer window – attracting players with their league position and attracting players to go to Newcastle, they’ll have to pay them more, let’s be honest.
“Even Brentford, Watford, the teams that are around Newcastle right now, the players are not going to Watford for the same money as Newcastle – they are going to choose Watford over Newcastle.”
And when asked if history, stature and fan base matter, Agbonlahor replied, “Not really, no.
“I had about 10 to 15 former players, I won’t name them, who said ‘you’re right, Gabby. You say it as it is and it is the truth.
“I’m sure Newcastle is an amazing city, an amazing place to live, but players in general want the lifestyle – not all players because it is not important to some players – but some want to be close to London for the lifestyle. “
Not everyone agrees with Agbonlahor, but talkSPORT’s Jamie O’Hara suggests he jumped at the chance to sign for Newcastle.
O’Hara said: “I don’t understand the agenda of living in Newcastle, ok it’s a little colder than London, but Newcastle is an amazing city. There is so much to do there. A beautiful city with amazing people.
” I do not understand. To get Gabby to say it’s absolutely ridiculous, Newcastle are a huge football club, you’d play in an amazing stadium in a historic football club.
“And it’s an amazing place to live in terms of house prices. You would get a palace for what you would pay for a two bedroom apartment in Brentford.
“I lived in a two bedroom apartment in Chelsea, it cost me three thousand dollars a month and it was the smallest apartment in the world! I would much rather live in a palace in Newcastle, play for one of the most historic clubs in England.
Meanwhile, Newcastle hero Warren Barton also hit back at Agbonlahor’s opinion.
He joked, “Gabby is a nice guy but he’s not the brightest guy in the world, is he?” To be fair, you wouldn’t want to take a long flight with him, would you?
“The Ferdinands lived up there, David Ginola lived there, Shaka Hislop lived there, I lived up there, Rob Lee loved it up there. It is a good place to live.
“It’s a bit of ignorance on Gabby’s part but, to be fair, like I said, the lights are on but no one is inside. We won’t worry about him, about him. be honest with you. “
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