In Focus: Aston Villa's Premier League legends from Barry to Yorke

Sean Wilson
LiveScore
Midfield star Gareth Barry featured in 12 Premier League seasons for Aston Villa
Midfield star Gareth Barry featured in 12 Premier League seasons for Aston Villa

Aston Villa have a rich history — and plenty of dazzling Premier League talents have lined up in claret and blue over the years.

With more than 1,200 goals since 1992, the West Midlands outfit are among the division’s top 10 highest-scoring clubs.

But which Villans have really caught the eye during the last three decades?

LiveScore picks out five of the brightest stars to grace Villa Park in the Premier League era.

Gabriel Agbonlahor

Gabriel Agbonlahor is an Aston Villa man through and through.

The striker joined his boyhood side’s academy as a child and progressed through the ranks, before being handed a professional contract in 2005.

He remained at Villa Park for the entirety of his career, barring two short loans at Watford and Sheffield Wednesday.

The pacy forward went on to become Villa’s top scorer in the Premier League, notching 74 times — and is also their second-highest appearance maker in the modern era, with 341 league games for the club.

Birmingham-born Agbonlahor lived every supporter’s dream, while the Villans were richly rewarded with 13 seasons of service from the England international.

Gareth Barry

Next on the list is the only man to play more often in the Premier League for Aston Villa than Agbonlahor — Gareth Barry.

In fact, Barry holds the all-time record for most appearances in the division, with 365 of his 653 games coming at the club he began his career with.

The midfielder spent 12 seasons at Villa Park after making his professional debut in 1998 and scored 41 league goals in that time — only five players have managed more for the club in the last 30 years.

An integral player under four different managers in John Gregory, Graham Taylor, David O'Leary and Martin O'Neill, not many have played more of a part in Villa's Premier League history than Barry.

Dwight Yorke

Dwight Yorke was Aston Villa's talisman during the Premier League's formative years
Dwight Yorke was Aston Villa's talisman during the Premier League's formative years

Dwight Yorke began his professional career at Aston Villa — joining them in 1989, before the Premier League was founded.

He remained there until 1998, scoring 60 times in the league from 1992-93 onwards to set the club’s all-time goalscoring record in the division.

That record was eventually broken by Agbonlahor, who is the only Villan to surpass that impressive tally.

Yorke was initially used as a winger while at Villa Park, but a switch to centre forward during the 1995-96 campaign saw him establish himself as one of the top flight’s most proficient marksmen.

He hit double figures for Premier League goals that season and in each of the two that followed, before Manchester United swooped in to sign him for £12.6million.

Paul McGrath

Referred to as 'God' by the Villa faithful, centre-back Paul McGrath is widely regarded as the West Midlands outfit's greatest ever player.

Joining from Manchester United in 1989, the Republic of Ireland international helped the Villans to a second-placed finish in the first ever Premier League season in 1992-93 under Ron Atkinson.

He also picked up a League Cup title in 1994 and again in 1996 — a triumph which remains the club's last major trophy.

Given McGrath is also their only player to win the PFA Players' Player of the Year for his exploits in 1992-93, it is no surprise his name is still chanted from the stands of Villa Park to this day.

Jack Grealish

Jack Grealish was a constant menace in the final third during his last season with Aston Villa
Jack Grealish was a constant menace in the final third during his last season with Aston Villa

Jack Grealish may not have lived up to his £100m price tag since moving to Manchester City last summer — but he will be remembered as a one-man wrecking ball at Aston Villa.

The 26-year-old emerged from the club’s youth team in 2012, before going on to become the Villans’ star man over the next nine years.

A sensational dribbler with an uncanny ability to draw fouls, Grealish racked up 15 top-flight goals and 19 assists, as well as leading the Midlands outfit back into England’s elite division in 2018-19.

Former Villa boss Dean Smith stated that "Grealish is the best player I have worked with" — and he is certainly among the most talented footballers to step out in a claret and blue shirt since the Premier League was founded.

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Premier LeagueAston Villa
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