Former Aston Villa hero Gabriel Agbonlahor will never get over Roberto Di Matteo’s treatment of teammate Stiliyan Petrov.

Returning from leukaemia, Petrov was hoping to play for the Villains in 2016-17, but the Italian coach did not offer the Bulgarian a chance to return after a three-year battle against the disease.

“I’ll hate him for the rest of my life for that,” Agbonlahor told threesixtytv. “Any other manager with a single bit of heart would have given him a pay-as-you-play.

Former Aston Villa hero Gabriel Agbonlahor will never get over Roberto Di Matteo’s treatment of teammate Stiliyan Petrov.

Returning from leukaemia, Petrov was hoping to play for the Villains in 2016-17, but the Italian coach did not offer the Bulgarian a chance to return after a three-year battle against the disease.

“I’ll hate him for the rest of my life for that,” Agbonlahor told threesixtytv. “Any other manager with a single bit of heart would have given him a pay-as-you-play.

The former England international claimed Petrov had worked hard during pre-season and was putting in enough work to deserve another chance.

“There’s a month, or there’s six months, let’s see how you are. To be so ruthless and heartless to not even give him a chance, you know what I mean?

“Imagine you come back from that horrific disease, you’ve got yourself fit, you’ve lost all this weight that you’ve put on through your treatment.

“You’ve come back, you’ve done every run that the 19-year-olds have done in pre-season and you can’t give me anything? Do you know what I mean?”

Di Matteo, who started his coaching career at MK Dons and helped Chelsea win the Champions League in 2011-12, arrived at Aston Villa after a season at Schalke.

Petrov retired that summer and the Italian tactician was replaced by Steve Clarke after only four months in charge of the Villains, with the club sat 19th in the Premier League.

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