Gabriel Agbonlahor has been handed the captain's armband for the foreseeable future at Villa Park after Stilyan Petrov was diagnosed with acute leukemia this week. Petrov has immediately started treatment for the condition, and will be missing from the Villa side for a hefty period of time, forcing Alex McLeish has moved swiftly to appoint a new captain. Agbonlahor was the obvious choice.
Agbonlahor has risen through the youth ranks at Aston Villa to play over 200 times for the side, scoring over 50 goals in the process, and will lead out the team for the first time this weekend when they travel to fellow strugglers Liverpool. The 25-year old has plenty of experience despite his young age, having made his debut for the club, and has won three caps for the senior England side, the first of which came in 2008 against Germany.
This season the striker has played in 27 games, scoring six goals and making five assists, making him a key elements to a side who are looking to avoid relegation at the moment.
It's a shrewd move by Alex McLeish. Appointing a local lad to the role of team captain should win some of the more negative sections of Villa Park round, whilst the move should also ward off any potential bidders for Agbonlahor, as it was recently speculated fellow Premier League side Sunderland were weighing up a move for the striker.
For more on this story, Agbonlahor and Petrov, visit our Aston Villa site, 7500 To Holte.