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By ESPN Staff

Agbonlahor confident of making grade with England

Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor is confident he could 'hack it' at full international level with England.

The 21-year-old is Villa's leading marksman with six goals this season and has earned rave reviews for his performances.

He is already established at under-21 level for his country and is confident he could follow Gareth Barry, Ashley Young and loanee Scott Carson into the full squad.

With England having only friendly internationals before the 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign gets under way, there would seem to be an ideal opportunity for Steve McClaren's successor to blood Agbonlahor.

Agbonlahor said: 'Anyone who is born in this country would want to play for England. At the moment, I'm concentrating on Villa but, if the call comes from England, I would love to take it.

'Doing well in the Premier League is bound to give you a chance at international level. I found that when I got into the under-21s and, if I get a chance with the full team, I think I would be able to hack it there.

'International football is a lot different to club football but I feel I could adapt because I've played quite a few games for the under-21s.

'Gareth, Ashley and Scott are already in there and it would be great to follow in their footsteps at some stage.''

Agbonlahor believes his game has developed further under Martin O'Neill and his backroom staff.

He said: 'The more I play in the Premier League, the more I'm learning.

'Robbo (John Robertson) and Wally (Steve Walford) have shown me how to hold the ball up and I feel I'm a much better all-round player because of it.

'As a striker, you also need to be strong and fend off defenders. I've also spent the last few years trying to get stronger, and Jim Henry (fitness coach) has helped with that.'