Aston Villa's Fabian Delph sets out captaincy ambitions

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The stand-in skipper wants to take on the armband on a permanent basis.

Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph has set out his ambitions to be the club’s long-term captain, joking on BBC Radio 5 Live that he’s not sure he’s going to give the armband back to Ron Vlaar.

Delph, 25, captained Villa for the first time this season in last month’s 5-0 defeat at Arsenal with Vlaar out injured and former stand-in skipper Gabriel Agbonlahor benched, and has since led the team out for five consecutive games while the Dutchman struggles with a calf problem.

The since-departed Paul Lambert hailed him as a claret and blue captain in the making upon seeing him pen a new deal until 2019 this winter and new manager Tim Sherwood has echoed that sentiment in recent weeks.

“You need someone who is not going to shirk responsibility,” Sherwood 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. I am certainly not one of those. That's what I was looking for - and someone who is willing to get on the ball and willing to drive the team on.”

Now Delph, who won his fourth England cap in Friday night’s 4-0 win over Lithuania at Wembley Stadium, has reiterated his desire the be the main leader in the Villa dressing room, adding that he’s received some valuable advice from Three Lions skipper Wayne Rooney.

"Wayne is a great captain and sets great examples on and off the pitch," he said on Sunday. "It is great for a young guy like me to look up to him and follow in his footsteps.

"I'm pretty new to being a captain but thoroughly enjoying it and I'm not sure I am going to give it back to Ron."

Delph could have left Villa in the summer, having entered the final six months of his contract and attracted interested from the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, per the Telegraph, but the midfielder insists his goal has always been to get to the top with Villa.

“I’ve never been tempted to leave. I see it as my club,” he continued. “The club have been great for me. It was a no-brainer. The club wasn’t going through a great time and it did give them a lift.

“I’m quite demanding when I’m at Villa. I don’t like losing, whether it’s in training or matches. I try to dig out the best in myself and everybody around me. It’s different when I come away here because the level is a lot higher than it is at club level but I’m still vocal.”

With Vlaar out of contract at the end of the season and no new deal in sight, it looks like Sherwood will have few problems deciding on the veteran captain's permanent successor.

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