Boss Paul Lambert today hailed captain fantastic Ron Vlaar as “incredible” and backed the new Villa skipper to be a hit.
The Scot reckons new-boy Vlaar can ease the pressure on Darren Bent after taking the armband at Villa Park.
The England striker is yet to score this season, ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Southampton, and Lambert wants the £24m man to focus on ending his drought after handing Vlaar the captaincy.
Lambert reckons the 27-year-old Holland international is the perfect man for the job – despite only joining Villa in July.
He said: “Ron is an incredible professional footballer, on and off the pitch.
“He’s absolutely brilliant. The time I saw him playing for Feyenoord he was captain and they are a massive club themselves. I knew it wouldn’t faze him. He’s a top lad and a top player.
“I changed it to let Darren concentrate on his goal scoring and I decided on Ron because I knew he was the right person to do it. He can handle it on and off the pitch. Darren was great, he had no problem with it.
“It releases the pressure of it and he can concentrate on scoring.”
Christian Benteke scored on his debut in last weekend’s 2-0 win over Swansea after his £7m transfer deadline day move from Genk to ease the goalscoring burden on Bent.
And Lambert hopes the former Sunderland striker can benefit from Benteke’s impressive impact.
“Hopefully it will release that tension a little bit but it’s about everyone and you need everyone to perform,” he said.
“He’s been fine though, totally fine.
“I’ve not sensed anything from him at all. Christian will give us a hand, he’s a big presence up there and that alone will unnerve a few people.
“I was delighted with his contribution.”
Meanwhile, Lambert confirmed talks with Bolton over a loan deal for Stephen Warnock are on-going.
The left-back is out of favour at Villa Park and the Championship side tried to sign him before the transfer deadline.
The ex-Norwich boss added: “The clubs are talking at the moment but I will wait and see what happens.”