Ex-Aston Villa youngster outlines Stiliyan Petrov's influence on him and tips Bulgarian to make first-team return

General view before the game - Villa Park

The 36-year-old has been training with the Championship side with a view to making a return to the professional game.

Stiliyan Petrov - Aston VillaStiliyan Petrov

Former Aston Villa youngster Josh Webb has hailed the influence that Stiliyan Petrov has had on his career, and has tipped the Villains hero to make an incredible return to the first-team in the future, the Herald Scotland reports.

Webb recently agreed to join Scottish Premiership side Kilmarnock after being released by the Midlands club at the end of last season.

Aston Villa's Josh Webb (R) and Olympiakos' Georgios Lyras in actionJosh Webb was released by Aston Villa this summer

And while the youngster would have been hoping that his time with Villa would not end in such a way, he was able to spend the final months of his spell there working alongside the Bulgarian, who was training with the under-21 side in the hope of returning to professional football in the future after overcoming leukaemia.

And with the former Celtic man joining the first-team squad for their pre-season tour of Austria, Webb has backed Petrov to complete a triumphant return to the side during their upcoming season in the Championship, while outlining the lessons that he's learnt from the midfielder that he will take with him north of the border.

Stiliyan Petrov - Aston Villa

"Stan is someone I've grown to know very well and he's done amazingly well since his diagnosis four years ago," he told the Herald Scotland.

"He's been a huge influence on me and was in with us for 12 months to train and showing a terrific attitude. To watch his never say die attitude has been a massive thing for me and has made a huge impression.

Stiliyan Petrov celebrates after scoring the second goal for Aston Villa

"After seeing how well he has done over the last 12 months and watched how far he has come then there's no reason why he can't make it back into Aston Villa’s first team."

So while Webb is planning to take what he has learnt from Petrov into the next chapter of his career, he has no doubt that the man who adopted the role of mentor to many of the youngsters at the club will now write another chapter of his own. 

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