Aston Villa's Ashley Westwood tells why Fabian Delph is the perfect captain

Delph Jelavic Grealish Rosenior

The England international looks to be club's new full-time skipper after keeping the armband following Ron Vlaar's return to fitness.

Fabian Delph is proving himself the perfect long-term captain for Aston Villa, teammate Ashley Westwood has told AVTV.

Delph, 25, captained Villa for the first time this season in February’s 5-0 defeat at Arsenal with Ron Vlaar out injured and former stand-in skipper Gabriel Agbonlahor benched, before going on to lead the team throughout the Dutchman's recent six-game absence.

Vlaar has since returned to the line-up but Delph has kept hold of the armband for the past three matches and led by example, helping Tim Sherwood’s side notch upset wins over Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool with a set of talismanic performances.

The England international now looks to be the club’s new full-time skipper, regardless of whether Vlaar ends up extending his expiring contract or not, and Westwood believes his fellow midfielder is the perfect choice – even if he does like the occasional moan.

“He loves a moan but that’s Fabian,” joked Westwood, who himself captain Crewe Alexandra at the age of just 21, before joining Villa in August 2012. “He’s a great lad and I get on with him really well.

“He’s been a great help since the day I stepped into this football club and if he keeps playing like he is then we’ve got some player on our hands.

“He’s very vocal around the place and even more now he’s captain,” he continued. “On the pitch, he leads by example with his energy – that’s the main thing.

“He’s always there, always wants the ball and if I don’t give it to him he’ll turn around and have a moan at me!”

Westwood also reserved special praise for another of his midfield teammates, Tom Cleverley, who has been thriving since Sherwood’s appointed as manager, even earning the man of the match award in last weekend’s 2-1 FA Cup semi-final win over Liverpool.

The 25-year-old, who is on a season-long loan from Manchester United, is a free agent in the summer and, with the Villa boss expressing his desire to sign him to a permanent deal, Westwood is hoping the pair have a long-term partnership in the centre of the park.

“He’s another great lad and another I’ve got on really well with from day one,” Westwood added. “He’s got bags of energy and he’s great on the ball, which is why he’s played at Manchester United.

“He’s a top player and hopefully he can carry on like this for us.”

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