Former Aston Villa forward Gabby Agbonlahor has described his experience as a coronavirus victim as a “horrible experience”. Agbonlahor tested positive for the virus on March 15. He self-isolated for 10 days before he started recovering from the deadly virus. He has now recovered fully and allowed to mingle with the rest of his family.
He revealed how horrible the experience of being a victim of the virus could be when reacting to the decision of the Premier League to commence contact training and subsequently restart the 2019-2020 season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Gabby Agbonlahor told Sky Sports that the symptoms he had were terrible. “So if I was a player and I was speaking to the players, I wouldn’t want them to go through what I went through as it was a horrible experience and the virus is very deadly as we’ve seen,” he said.
“Why would you want to risk yourself and risk bringing it back to your kids? You don’t want to do it. I’m sure the likes of Troy Deeney, N’Golo Kante will be at home or using a local area to do the same sessions that the players at Watford and Chelsea are doing.
“They’re not sitting at home and doing nothing. They’ll still be keeping to the fitness that the other players are doing, but just not doing it at the training ground, which for me is fine.”
According to data from the Office for National Statistics, black men and women are nearly twice as likely to die from coronavirus as white men and women. This information has led to concern among some players, especially Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante who fainted in training seasons ago; and Watford‘s Troy Deeney whose son has breathing difficulties. They both refused to join the rest of their teams to train for days due to the fear of contracting the virus.
Amid the fear of the virus, the Premier League season is set to restart on June 17 and Gabby Agbonlahor who played all his football career in the Premier League believes that the training and restart of the season would not be a problem if there is regular testing and players stick to the rules.
“If it’s every day, every two days, so long as there’s multiple testing for every player and every player that’s in your squad is sticking to the rules”, he said. “So, no one’s going into places they don’t need to be – they’re going straight home from training, then I think it’s different.
“But if you hear the players are doing other things, like going to places where they could catch the virus, then I’d be against going back.
“Some players are not going to have kids, they may live on their own, so it’s different for every player and it’s a decision for them to make on their own.”
Agbonlahor is a product of Aston Villa’s Academy. He played with the club’s senior team for 13 years and spend a few seasons away from the club in between those years on loan to Watford and Sheffield. He ran out of favour with the club in 2018 which subsequently led to his inactivity in professional football.
Before he went out from limelight, the 33-year-old had made over 300 Premier League appearances for Aston Villa. He scored 73 goals to remain the club’s all-time highest scores scorer.