By now, you’re heard the news about Stiliyan Petrov. The Bulgarian midfielder has started treatment for leukemia at a London hospital, putting soccer firmly on the back-burner.
On Tuesday, the club confirmed to various media outlets (including this one) that 26-year-old attacker Gabriel Agbonlahor will assume the captain’s armband. It will be Villa’s first change in captaincy since 2009, when Petrov inherited the honor from retiring defender Martin Laursen.
Agbonlahor came up through Villa’s academy and is the club’s second all-time leading scorer. After playing as a second striker for much of his Villa career, Agbonlahor has adapted to a wider role this season under Alex McLeish, flanking Darren Bent.
In 26 league matches, Agbonlahor has 5 goals and 5 assists. Through the four seasons that started in 2006-07, Agbonlahor scored 44 goals and earned his way into England’s senior national team, where he’s seen three caps.
Given the nature of Petrov’s absence, this seems like a “until further notice” decision until something more explicit coms along. Aston Villa has no official announcement on their web site, the club instead choosing to honor their Petrov with a (subscription) Agbonlahor/Bent interview, thoughts from Eric Lichaj, and a T-shirt sale (where procedes will go to charity).