Darren Bent was initially given the armband last season with Stiliyan Petrov battling Leukaemia, but Vlaar's displays since arriving from Feyenoord in the summer have marked him out as the outstanding candidate.
And Lambert was quick to hail his new captain for his performance on Saturday, alongside the rest of the Villa defence.
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He told the club’s official website: "Ron was amazing. When he took the ball on the run for 40 yards? I told him, I pay you to defend, don't even do it!
"But I thought he was colossal, and has been. He and Ciaran [Clark] and the two full backs were excellent.
"Ron is not a young kid, he's not 21. He has been at a huge football club himself and I just think he is a top player."
Lambert had initially named striker Bent as his captain for the season but has passed the armband onto Vlaar to allow the England international to concentrate on rediscovering his goalscoring form.
The Scot added: "In terms of the decision on the captaincy? I just wanted to give Darren a break. I just wanted him to concentrate on scoring goals.
"I think Darren at Newcastle and against Swansea has been excellent.
"He is playing well. But I thought I would change it and let him just concentrate on scoring goals."