Gabriel Agbonlahor discusses Fabian Delph becoming Aston Villa's stand-in captain over him

Gabriel Agbonlahor

The long-serving striker believes his teammate is the right choice to skipper the side in Ron Vlaar's absence.

Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor has told AVTV that he agrees with Tim Sherwood’s decision to make Fabian Delph the club’s stand-in captain over him.

Agbonlahor, 28, had been vice-skipper to Ron Vlaar throughout Paul Lambert’s tenure and led the team out on a regular basis earlier this season while the Dutchman was struggling with injuries.

However, with Vlaar missing the past four games due to suspension and then a nagging calf problem, midfielder Fabian Delph has instead taken on the armband and received widespread plaudits from Sherwood for his leadership qualities.

"You need someone who is not going to shirk responsibility,” the new boss told the club’s official website earlier this month. "At the moment, we're in a situation where it could be easy for players to shirk responsibility.

"But I don't think Fabian is one of those characters.”

As the longest-serving member of the Villa squad, with 300 Premier League appearances for the club, Agbonlahor could have reason to be aggrieved about Delph taking his responsibilities, but the Birmingham-native is instead taking a diplomatic approach to the situation.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with young fan Moin Younis, he said: “It’s always nice to captain the side but I think it’s the right choice in Fabian Delph

“He’s got the right assets of a captain and it’s better to have a central midfielder, especially a fiery one, as skipper.

“I’m delighted for him.”

Another of Sherwood’s decisions since arriving at Villa has also been met with Agbonlahor’s approval – that being his move to restore the former trainee to a centre forward role in recent games.

The ex-England international had often been used out wide during Paul Lambert’s tenure, with his goals record taking a significant hit as a result, but a switch back to his favoured position has since sparked a mini scoring streak.

Now with three goals in his last three matches, he looks to be showcasing some of the attacking flair which saw him become one of the Premier League’s most feared strikers during Martin O’Neill’s reign, but the claret and blue stalwart insists he’s just pleased to be in the line-up.

“I think you always want to play as a striker but, in this day and age, just to get on the pitch you’ll play anywhere,” he added.

“I’d honestly play left-back to get in the side.”

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