The outstanding candidate to inherit the Villa captaincy from Vlaar

Aston Villa should make Ciaran Clark their new captain, if Ron Vlaar does leave this summer.

Ciaran Clark is staking his claim to take the captain's armband off Ron Vlaar should the Dutchman depart Aston Villa this summer.

Vlaar's contract expires at the end of the season and no extension has been put in place, meaning that his future has been heavily speculated on.

It leaves room for a new official captain to be announced for the 2015/16 campaign, and Tim Sherwood should seriously consider picking Clark.

The defender entered the season expected to be back-up to Philippe Senderos and Vlaar, but his performances have seen him become an established part of Villa's first-team.

Clark has arguably been Villa's player of the season and the passion that he plays with makes him a natural leader.

Tough in the tackle and commanding in the air, the 25-year-old has led by example this season and it would make sense to reward his excellent form by handing him the armband on an official basis.

Clark has been with Villa since the age of 11, he understands the club's principles and what the supporters expect on the pitch.

He has also shown great loyalty by sticking with the club for such a long period of time and could be held up as a role model for Villa's current academy players to look up to.

It makes him a serious contender to succeed Vlaar and Sherwood should look to build his team for the years to come with the defender at the heart of those plans.

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