Over the summer there has been a lot of talk about where Villa skipper Ron Vlaar will be playing his football next season. Thanks to an impressive World Cup, the Dutchman caught the eye of many in the footballing world and has consequently been linked with a move away from B6. There has been reported interest from a range of clubs, including Juventus, Southampton and Queens Park Rangers.
The big centre back has spent two seasons with Aston Villa, having been signed by Paul Lambert from Feyenoord in 2012. Vlaar has established himself as a favourite of many fans. Many consider him one of the club’s best players.
Vlaar is twenty-nine years old and spent his entire club career in Holland before making the move to the midlands. Staying in Holland for so much of his club career no doubt helped him to stake a claim to his place in the national side. Vlaar made his international debut in 2005 and has now secured thirty-one caps for the Netherlands, getting himself a goal along the way.
If the Villans were to lose Vlaar this summer there is no doubt that it would be a massive blow to the side. Not only would we be losing a captain but we’d also be losing our rock at the back – a huge chunk of the team’s spine. It is no exaggeration to state that the Villans’ defence was woeful last season but at least Vlaar provided some solidity within the back line. This was clear to see during the spells when Vlaar was injured and the centre back pairing was Clark and Baker. Then, we looked like we were going to concede almost every time the opposition attacked and Clark and Baker did not look comfortable at all.
This season, fans are looking forward to seeing a much better Aston Villa defence being built around Vlaar. We now have Jores Okore, who looked solid at the start of last season before picking up his injury, back. Lambert also signed Philippe Senderos and Kieran Richardson to help strengthen the back line.
I cannot see Vlaar leaving. He has been quoted as saying that he “hasn’t even thought about leaving Aston Villa” and we have had reports that he is currently discussing a new contract. For now, I am remaining hopeful and look forward to seeing ‘Concrete Ron’ playing in claret and blue throughout the 2014-15 season.