ASTON VILLA HAVE named striker Gabriel Agbonlahor as their new captain following Stilian Petrov’s diagnosis with leukaemia.
England international Agbonlahor, who has scored six times for the Midlands club this season, has been awarded the armband after the Bulgarian put an indefinite hold on his playing career.
Agbonlahor, who has played over 200 games for the club he joined as a boy, will lead his side out for the first time against Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday. The 25-year-old made his debut in 2005, before enjoying loan spells with Watford and Sheffield Wednesday for the remainder of the campaign.
He returned to Villa Park the following season and has been a key player in the side ever since, notching 53 goals in his time with the Premier League club. He has also earned three full caps for England, his first coming in a friendly against Germany in 2008.
32-year-old Petrov, who joined the club from Celtic in 2006, has led the side for the last three seasons despite having three managers during that time. He was present during Saturday’s clash with Chelsea to witness a minute’s applause dedicated to him during the 19th minute – a tribute related to his squad number at Villa.