Date: 27th July 2010 at 4:42pm
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Martin Laursen has backed Gabby to shine in the lone man role if Martin O’Neill decides to revert to the 451 formation this season.

It’s been the predominant formation so far this pre season but how much of that is by design by O’Neill remains to be seen given Nathan Delfouneso is in France with the England U19 squad and Emile Heskey was given extra time off following the World Cup.

Speaking to the Official Site former Man Mountain Martin Laursen believes Gabby has all the attributes necessary to star in that role and points to previous games where Villa were flying with Gabby playing alone upfront.

‘He has developed. He can play up there by himself and Villa can have offensive players behind him.’

Laursen goes onto to praise the way Gabby has muscled up over the past few seasons to give himself the strength to play the role and points out his technical game has also improved over that time so he’s no longer just pacy, he is turning into a good all round striker.

‘He can also score goals with his left foot – it’s not just his right foot. He is just always dangerous. I think he is a top Premier League striker, the next step now is to become an England striker.’

Martin finishes by saying that whilst it was unfortunate that Gabby didn’t make the trip to south Africa England’s loss is very much Villa’s gain as Gabby will be returning to the season fresh and raring to go.

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